Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving turkey

I picked up my 13.25 pound Bourbon Red turkey from Erin Krier in Nipomo on Monday. She calls her poultry business Babe's Birds, after her grandmother. She charged $6.25 a pound, which I am confident compensated her fairly for her work.
Linn Ennis' photo of one of her Bourbon Red turkeys
She was having a meeting of 4-H poultry leaders at her dining room table, so I shared some books with them. They were thankful for the books and I am thankful for their work!

Erin included a Mary Mackey poem with her turkey:

One November
a week before Thanksgiving
the Ohio River froze
and my great uncles
put on their coats
and drove the turkeys
across the ice
to Rosiclare
where they sold them
for enough to buy
my grandmother
a Christmas doll
with blue china eyes

I like to think
of the sound of
two hundred turkey feet
running across to Illinois
on their way
to the platter,
the scrape of their nails
and my great uncles
in their homespun leggings
calling out gee and haw and git
to them as if they were mules

I like to think of the Ohio
at that moment,
the clear cold sky
the green river sleeping
under the ice,
before the land got stripped
and the farm got sold
and the water turned the color of whiskey
and the uncles lay down
and never got up again

I like to think  of the world
before some genius invented
turkeys with pop-up plastic
in their breasts,
idiot birds
with no sildenss left in them,
turkeys that couldn't run the river
to save their souls

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