How down on your luck
would you need to be
to dress as a big yellow chicken greeter
on opening day of a brand new
fast food restaurant?
The guy is waving to me
with white gloved hands.
Okay so maybe it's a woman inside.
But it sure looks like a rooster to me.
What is he tomorrow?
A giant hotdog at a weener joint?
A living snow-cone?
Why not a monster ATM card
or the human toilet
outside a hardware store?
Hey chicken, you really want folks
to patronize this place?
Your brothers and sisters
are being cooked and eaten inside.
Still, it's a job and not everyone
is employable as who they are.
I'm still looking for that
respectable costume myself.
Meanwhile, I eat where I can afford,
where the big yellow chicken sends me.
--John Grey has recently been published in Taking River, South Carolina Review and Karamu. He has upcoming work in Prism International, Poem, and the Evansville Review.