A Poem: I Have Recently Learned
Published: November 9th, 2018
By: Shelly Reuben

A Poem: I have recently learned

By Shelly Reuben

I have recently learned, I’m embarrassed to say

(And in knowing I’m now panic-stricken)

Of the arduous trials in the course of a day

Of a fine-feathered coop-dwelling chicken!

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Never…no never…did once I suspect

That their lives could be so God-forsaken

I had thought that those birds lolled in stress-

free leisure;

But was sadly and badly mistaken.

Imagine—Oh, no!—what those poor creatures


Just like clockwork, a chicken must lay

(Regardless of if she is “not in the mood”)

An egg, in her nest. Every day!

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What a life! What a life! What a ghastly


Not a minute for anything fun.

Not a manicure, pedicure, trip to the mall,

Nor a day at the beach in the sun.

Egg after egg after egg after egg,

One a day every day every year.

That is nine hundred eggs over nine hundred


Then…each morning, THEY ALL DISAPPEAR!

“Good Grief,” says Hen One; “Woe is me,” says

Hen Two.

“Where’s my infant? My chick? Where’s my


(Imagine if that newborn baby was yours…

You surely would be driven wild!”)

No maternity clothes for that egg-laying gal,

And no birth-coach to teach her to breathe.

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Just an egg in the nest every single damn day,

Then it’s taken with no by-your-leave.

And worse than all that (how much worse can

it get?)

Love’s exempt from this poultry equation.

To impregnate a chicken, no rooster’s required

For romantic and manly persuasion.

Imagine again (there’s no end of bad news)

All the energy, effort, and work.

A baby a day, every day, every year.

It would drive a mere human berserk!

With that thought in my mind, I will finish this


And I’ll gracefully lay down my pen.

I was happy to scribble this couplet for you—

Much less trouble than being a hen!!