Here was where
the bully could not reach.
      – Greg Kuzma

Abraham was a rooster. He’d been made to fight. He was not a
He ended up in a basement with a “No one touch the killer!”

We brought him to the sanctuary. He loved peanut butter and jelly.
He loved laps and Linda’s pillow. He was not a fighter. He wanted

to be held by toddlers, phi beta kappas, grievers and
socialists and pop stars. He wanted you to gentle his comb

between your forefinger and thumb. It was a smooth, warm piece
of a smooth, warm Abe, and it blushed bliss. It was tender

like someone who had been as unloved as a chicken
and then as loved as a chicken could be.

He grew old and full of love and died, rubbing his head back
and forth, back and forth against Linda’s arm. We planted

coxcomb, a growing glow.

This poem, by Gretchen Primack, is from her book of poems, Kind, published by Post Traumatic Press, with line drawings by Susan Siegel.