I originally wrote this poem in 1997, and in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I’m posting it here for your enjoyment!
A Turkey Tale
There once was a turkey named Tom,
And after the oven was warm,
I popped him right in,
Set the timer and then,
I left him to roast all the morn.
Well, after some time had passed you see,
I went to check on my friend turkey.
And to my surprise,
When I peaked right inside,
Tom he did right up and leave!
He jumped on the counter and there did say
(Shaking his wing this and that way),
“A lot you must learn,
Or I will quite burn,
And you will have wasted your day.”
“My list of demands is not too great,
But this is how a turkey to make:
I want regular basting,
A periodic tasting,
And to be set in a fine China plate.”
“And do you not dare to forget the heater,
Or the tiny pop-up thermo-meter.
If you want me to die,
Set at 325,
And I’ll cook my stuffing much neater.”
So I looked at my turkey with compassionate eyes,
I saw in his soul where the trouble did lie:
His life is for cooking,
And I was o’erlooking,
The way to do it just right.
I nodded and smiled and said to him then,
“Tom, Tom my once-feathered friend,
I was unthoughtful,
Just wanting a mouthful,
Of the wondrous meal you’d attend.”
“But I see there is more for me to do,
In order to take good care of you.
I’ll make you best,
And they’ll be nothing left,
‘Cause all will dig right in, that’s true.”
He nodded and smiled and thanked me quite warmly,
For I did not want to cook him so wrongly.
Then I got out a pan,
Basted him with my hand,
And shoved him in the oven all lonely.
I sat with my company then for a while,
Saying nothing, but wearing a smile.
Some hours did pass,
And I said, “Yes, at last!”
(For the meal had escaped from defile).
I took out the turkey and a fine China dish
(Not wanting to go back on Tom’s solemn wish).
I put him right in,
Went to carve there and then,
When he said, “Do you think I’m a fish?”
“You cannot use that knife on me:
I am an American-bred turkey.
That will not do,
How did dare you,
Think me so worthy of butchery!”
My fist then did clench and a smile appeared,
And only in the eyes of Tom was there fear.
I brought the knife down,
Buried it in his crown,
So the turkey could no longer hear.
For then I slashed and I chopped,
And I cut his wings off!
And I hit with my hand,
After which I did stand,
In order to look for a mop.
A more glorious mess never was seen,
Not even after battle on a field of green.
Giblets and muffins,
Potatoes and stuffing,
And turkey were all over me.
I smiled and laughed at my way of livin’,
Of killing a turkey before me crazy driven.
I then dropped my knife,
Got a hold of my life,
And said, “Have a Happy Thanksgiving!”
Other poems of mine can be found here on my Writings page.