Prosper Barter

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To answer this age old question we must

understand the nature of chickens.


There has been entirely too much focus

on the road aspect

and not enough

on the soul

of the one crossing it.


Knowing chickens as I do—

their pecking, their endless interest

in bugs, worms and corn cobs


It would not be work ethic

that caused the chicken to cross that road

there are no chicken palaces

or works of art or chicken inventions


not loyalty, certainly—

they will fly off at the first chance


not brains—

flying off, they will end up right

in the fox’s mouth


but they do have curiosity and

an interest in bugs, tender new shoots

and warm patches of sun.

They will lie on the other side

of the road all day,

utterly content.


We should be so lucky.