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P-38

(The true account of the short life and sad death of a patriotic bantam chick in 1942. She was one of a trio. My brothers and I named them after airplanes: P-38, P-40, and P - something or other. Our brother was in the Army fighting for his country and we thought that was the least we could do. P-38 was mine. I do not know what became of the other two, but I suspect they grew up and were eaten in their prime.)

Just a bit of a bird, but I loved her as much
As one can care for a biddy;
In my careless youth she was just the right touch.
Though she died as a chick, more's the pity.
She moped all day long; I, of course, wondered why:
A bug in her craw? That must be it!
I scissored her open, looked in with a sigh,
But a bug? I just didn't see it.
I scraped out the rocks and I sewed her up well
With a needle and thread I had stolen.
I was proud of my work till it started to swell,
Till, in fact, it was terribly swollen.
P-38 lived about three days I guess
But in spite of my best, she was dying.
When Daddy found out who had made the big mess,
He wore out my backside for trying.
We buried P-38, figured we ought;
Held church to pray for my vice;
My surgical skills weren't as sharp as I thought
And P-38 paid the price.


R. Joan Geiger 1990