Basting Thyme

A short poem written whilst sat in a waiting room at Margate Hospital. It’s a little bit silly.

Last week this reek began to leak from inside my car trunk,
I’d left a chicken in a bag, It smelt like rotten skunk,
I did the honest thing of course, returned it to the store,
But the woman at the service desk, she made it such a chore.

The girl could tell just from the smell and looked at me all sultry,
I placed my bird upon the desk, she asked, “What’s with the poultry?”
I had no valid reason, so said the first thing in my head,
“I’d like to have my money back, this chicken isn’t dead.”

“Not dead?” she said and scratched her head, “He’s wrapped in cellophane,
It’s clear to see his heads removed, he’ll never cluck again.”
“Ah!” said I, my chin held high, ready to face a fight,
“I’m the customer my dear, therefore I’m always right.”

“So what? You’re not, the bird you’ve got, we sell as oven ready,
He hasn’t lived these past six days, just ask my boss here, Eddie.”
Said Ed, “It’s dead, he’s cleanly plucked, No feathers there for fluffing,
The only thing he’s ready for is basting, thyme and stuffing.”

“Good gosh! What tosh, this bird’s not nosh, Don’t ever you forget,
This is a living thing right here, He’d make a lovely pet.”
In truth I think I lost it then, and flew into a rage,
But Eddie made it even worse by offering me a cage.

“Absurd, caged bird, have you not heard, Such treatment’s rather cruel,
I simply want my money back, You take me for a fool?”
It’s fair to say we’d reached a point of total stalemate,
With twenty others in the queue becoming quite irate.

“Oi you,” a few called from the queue, “We can’t wait here all day,
Just give his blooming money back, And then he’ll go away!”
I leaned across the counter next and whispered in her ear,
“If you don’t give my money back, I’m going to stay right here.”

Although, I know, it pained her so, (we both knew I was wrong),
The girl gave me my fiver back, Then told me to “jog on,”
I smugly grinned and left the store whilst telling her to “stick it,”
But when I got back to my car, I found a parking ticket.

Born in Thanet in 1977, Courtney lives with his wife and two children by the sea. He writes a wide variety of fiction, scripts and prose.

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