Red and Green Turkey

Poem by Joel, written 10/23/17

Does it matter? Do we care

About that turkey lying there

Oven roasted and golden brown

Stuffed and dressed in festive gown?


As we prepare to sit and celebrate

Should we not properly contemplate

How this turkey had a life

Before being placed on fork and knife?


Did this creature live in one big crowd

Or dance in pasture under fluffy cloud?

Did he breathe in daily fecal pall?

Does any of this matter, at all?


Do we desecrate this sacred sacrifice

If the turkey’s life was nothing nice,

If its lungs were filled with fecal soup

And it lived all day in its dreadful poop?

Did this turkey ever see the sun rise,

Scratch the grass, or chase down flies?

Long before he gave his life for us,

Did we care, or is that too much fuss?

What about his chance to express turkiness,

Experience joy, discovery, and happiness?

Or was it just one dull crowded feathery mass,

No sun, no bugs, no worms, no grass.

How do you feel now, staring down

At that turkey, golden brown?

Does his life before the festive platter

Actually, truly, really matter?

If he’s just an inanimate machine,

A pile of protoplasmic protein,

Then it surely doesn’t matter

What occurred before the platter.

Food is more than stuff and treat;

It’s always life before we eat.

How we sacrifice for each other

Is the mark of a true brother.

So the turkey’s life before the table

Clears our conscience, makes us able

To morally appreciate, to celebrate

This turkey’s final abbreviate.

Does it matter? Do we care

About that turkey lying there?

The moral point is we must

Before we, ourselves, return to dust.

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