A rafter in the back woods:
five toms and eighteen hens,
a remnant of the Pilgrim myth
that predicated genocide.

Bobbing heads and fanned tails,
almost our national bird.
If I hunted, I’d choose the alpha male;
primal man is another myth.

Breast-heavy and flightless,
my turkey resembles nothing.
Each year I cook it Cuban style.

The hens, more interested
in bugs than formal displays,
leave courtship to the males.


Michael Hardin

Originally from Los Angeles, Michael Hardin lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, two children, and two Pekingeses. He is the author of a poetry chapbook, Born Again (Moonstone Press 2019), and has had poems published in Seneca Review, Connecticut Review, North American Review, Quarterly West, Gargoyle, Texas Review, Tampa Review, among others. He has recently finished his memoir, Touched.