Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness

(or All Black Lives Matter, Too)

this bird is oven-ready
plucked, held rigorously
legs pinioned together
wings forced behind its back
on a hard surface
other eyes look on
it cannot struggle
it cannot breathe
its goose is cooked
a knee is on its neck

it is not equal, this life
trussed in this manner
it has been deprived of liberty
disabled as it is
it cannot pursue happiness
if it wanted to
wings clipped
piece by piece
through all its years
flight not an option
and now fight twisted up
does this life matter

or is it to be reviled
not being like “me”?
“me” with absolute power
“me” corrupted absolutely
is it to be reviled
a paraplegic chicken
disarmed, held helpless
by a trusted force
with a twisted sense
that lacks proportion
with a knee
on a neck

I thought,
if it was me
I could not expunge a life
so carelessly
so callously
with a knee
on a neck
men are not god
police not terminators
due process needs arbiters
detectives, experts in law
jurors of our peers
judges and decisions made
not with a knee on a neck
or a bullet in the head
my voice says
loudly and irresistibly
“How bloody DARE you!?”


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