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The Chicken Leg
They said I was a stray,
-A good-for-nothing mongrel! -
As I wandered the streets of Baghdad
Pawing through empty trash cans,
And hoping for a scrap of food
For food, to me, was life.
But what should I have expected?
There was no life in this place –
Just skeletal two-leggeds hunched over
Some cleaner than others,
Some with metal tools that create explosions
Some that burst into flames
All walking the streets of death.
As for me, I just wanted food.
The chicken leg…
Held in a two-legged’s hand
Not far, not far from me at all!
And oh, how I drooled for that chicken!
Just one, bite, I knew, could save my life.
How could I resist?
I took a step forward. Please, please!
Have mercy, I beg you, for I am like you.
We both need food, life, chicken – please, oh please!
The two-legged swings around, metal tool in hand, toward me…
Stupid, I was stupid, idiotic.
I ventured too close.
It happened too fast.
The metal tool exploded upon me
Above the harsh sound of two-legged laughter,
“Getter, Bud! That rabid b**** could kill…”
“…Not an honorable way for a soldier like you to die, eh? Heheh!”
And I did not jump to the side quickly enough
For the chicken-smell impeded my reason
And so here I lie, dying in the dusty streets,
Not greedy as they say, but hungry, bleeding, losing
The only thing I’ve ever had or wanted –