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Because I Do Not Know How to Assert Myself (Another Chicken Poem)

by fortis

A hen may lay 530 eggs within
her lifetime needing no rooster in her coop it
is an automatic process but when a hen
goes broody she will guard those empty eggs
with fluffed up feathers for seven weeks
four weeks after they should have hatched
as if those marble walls held molten gold
or just the chicks she’d always dreamed of having
a portrait of myself in fifty years
cracking an egg and in the broken yolk
seeing a pale reflection of my face
empty from dreams left unfulfilled
how could I walk on eggshells?

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1246 Reviews

Points: 35749
Reviews: 1246

Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:41 am
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niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there fortis! Niteowl to review.

Overall, I find this an interesting poem, a stream of consciousness where the narrator goes from reflecting on chicken habits to dissecting their own life choices. It seems like perhaps the narrator is unsure if they want children or not. Are these hypothetical children something she truly wants and dreams of, or is it just instinct and the pressures of society making her think she wants kids. Or the "walking on eggshells" bit makes me think she's infertile and can't have biological children even though she wants them. Either way, it's a good analogy.

There are some parts where I think a little more punctuation/structure could be beneficial. The repetition of "seven weeks/four weeks" makes that line hard to read. Perhaps the four weeks line could be put in parentheses so it's clear how the sentence should be read. I also think a stanza break before "a portrait of myself..." might be beneficial. The last line also feels like it could stand out more as a separate stanza.

As an aside, I'm not sure I get the connection between the title and the poem, as no one seems to be asserting anything, but perhaps it's meant to be cryptic.

Overall, I really like this. As always, keep writing! :D

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10 Reviews

Points: 201
Reviews: 10

Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:43 am
spunkyspacekitty wrote a review...

Hi fortis,

I think this is a very detailed kinda funny poem. I especially like the part where it says,

"as if those marble walls held molten gold"

It has very nice imagery so thumbs up for that!

But I will say you divided up your poem made it hard to read. Also the lack of punctuation made it seem like a really long run on sentence. Maybe try to end each verse better?


There has never been a sadness not cured by breakfast food.
— Ron, Parks & Rec