Life bursts from genetically modified eggs.
Innocent chicks, unaware of the journey ahead,
chomp beaks within the first day of life.
Life proceeds perilously.
Cages for one crammed with five.
No place for waste, chickens live in feces.
There’s not enough food, and battles break
for one morsel.
Life ends, billions of chickens’ throats slit,
hung by their feet, awaiting release.
The soon-to-be main course lived
a painful life,
with an end containing just as much torment:
smothered, slaughtered, skinned, and sold.
Life surpasses the grave when Mother
purchased the pink, raw package
of the departed.
Placed into a cart, scanned, and home
spices dance across dead flesh. Knives slice.
Planted in a hot pan, the chicken is cooked
until safe, skin seared.
The chicken, once full of life,
lies on a platter.
Life changes for those who know
the harsh reality.
As a family sits around a table, they indulge
in the chicken’s demise.
Forks and knives scrape plates.
Chins dripping with juices that ooze
from the corpse.
The family enjoys their savory protein.
All but the one who knows the truth.
All but the one who sees the terror in that
All but the one whose heart hurts for the life
of torment that very chicken suffered.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.