Letters are Amazing

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Reflections in verse on the milestone of the Barren Battery Cage Ban, January 1, 2012, and of those hens fortunate enough to be rescued and rehomed prior to its introduction. (Thinking also of the many hens who weren’t.)

Part I

Letters are amazing, an alphabet for life,
Whose words can make a point with the precision of a knife,
Whose words can shock or startle and shift a point of view,
Words change things through erosion, heralding the new.

These words are like an army, steadfast, strong and sure,
They will not stop till they have changed the errors of before,
They march from every quarter and silenced will not be,
Until a better, gentler way announces victory.

One victory now is with us- but the war is not yet won,
The words will keep on marching to see justice truly done,
They won’t look back in anger only onwards with new drive,
Till compassion is the linchpin, ensuring all things thrive.

Part II

Letters are amazing, a glorious diamond mine,
They morph and merge like microbes, then change and recombine,
Yet the difference of a letter – though very small to read-
Can greatly alter meaning and bring great change indeed.

For caged hens newly rescued, this verbal play is clear,
“Abused” becomes “a busy hen”, darting far and near,
A “caged” hen is “engaging” in its owners joyful gaze,
Whilst “degraded” turns to “gardener” and round the garden strays.

The hen “ignored” is now “adored” and offered treats and toys,
Whilst “dust and noise” are gladly swapped for days of “dustbath joys”.
The “cramped” hen now is “tramping” through the flower beds and grass,
And the “thin” hen now is “thinking” that she’s found a home at last.

Her “boredom” turned to “freedom”, her “fear” into “forays”,
Such as how to work the catflap and move in on rainy days.
This hen won’t now be “cat food” (though “cat fiend” seems rather apt,
As Tibbles flees the kitchen whilst hen owners watch enrapt.)

From commercial “hatch” to veggie “patch”
From “stressed” to just plain “sassy”,
From empty “crop” to happy “coop”,
This hen’s a happy lassie.

The “meat hook” isn’t waiting, nor a downward-pointing neck,
Just a “treat hook” duly baited with delightful things to peck.
Not “stunned” now, only “stunning” as her feathers soon resprout,
Not “worthless” now but “priceless” is what it’s all about.

Yes, letters are amazing, the changes that they bring,
Not “slaughter” now, but “laughter”, is the song these hens will sing.

Sushi standing alone looking puzzledSumo walking towards to camera

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3 Comments on “Letters are Amazing”

  1. That started me off – where’s the tissues! A really beautiful cleverly written poem.

  2. What a beautiful poem. You have truly captured the spirit of rehoming these precious creatures.

  3. Wow! What an amazing, witty, cleverly constructed poem! But most of all, it perfectly describes the life that all hens should have a right to. Congratulations. A job well done.

    Victoria 🙂