The part of the country in which I live has two distinctions: first, it is the home of WalMart and second, it is the headquarters of Tyson Foods. These two multi-billion dollar corporations have been the lifeblood for our region as well as the economic engine for the rest of the state. (I think it could be argued the success of these two entities, both as employers and producers, has fueled an otherwise lackluster US economy for years. For anyone who has an argumentative inclination, no, I’d rather not debate negative stories or trash talk about either corporation.)
Right near where I live, there are numerous chicken farms with production houses that extend about 400 foot long (approximately) and house as many as 11,000 birds. When I’m out driving, it’s not uncommon to see an eighteen-wheeler with a trailer full of chickens destined for market. Through the years, we’ve seen stray chickens off the trucks scurrying along the street-side, and friends of mine have been known to capture the birds for their own backyard chicken coops or stew pots. Yes, it’s amusing.
As the home campus for the University of Arkansas, there’s also a large Poultry Science department with its poultry research and other assorted courses of study dedicated to poultry production. When my children were members of 4H, they entered the county’s cooperative extension office competitions for grilling chicken.
Given this environment, my versification has (on occasion) veered to the nonsensical for some light-hearted ribbing about the industry that has shaped the economy of our region. This poem is longer than I like to post here, but I can’t help indulging my silly side this week!
In writing this particular poem, I didn’t intend to demean the local accent nor the tendency in speech for some locals to drop syllables (which in this specific case, makes poetry sound very much like poultry. You might need to live here to understand.) So please, no offense intended, and I hope no offense taken!