[A prose poem—& existential cooking lesson—from our very own Chicken Farmer Poet in Residence, L.E. Leone!]
ANOTHER HAUNTING CHILDHOOD MEMORY
My dad in an apron at the stove, cooking the pots and pans.
“You just don’t get it, Dad, do you?” I said. “You’re supposed to put stuff inside of them.”
“Like what?” he said.
“Supper,” I said. “Lunch. I don’t know. I’m a kid. What time is it, anyway?”
My father looked at his watch. “Holy smokes. The chicken is done!” He opened the oven door and a fully plucked chicken jumped down from the rack and started walking around the place, scratching the linoleum, pecking at Cheerios, and saying, in a word, “Cluck.” It seemed not only not cooked, but not put out in the least.
I couldn’t stop laughing. I was so happy. So entertained. “You just don’t get it, do you? You’re supposed to turn the oven on.”
“Holy smokes,” my dad said.
He turned the oven on, but then we couldn’t get the chicken to go back in.