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Friday, December 01, 2023


by Matthew Murrey

“Two Turkeys ‘Liberty’ and ‘Bell’ Pardoned by Biden” —VOA, November 20, 2023

For Thanksgiving week, forty-six million, 
while the sweep of a year will reap 
over four times as many, but not these two. 
They won the lottery of born 
right time, right place: were given room 
to roam, good food, and the light of the sun.
Their beaks and toes weren’t scissored, clipped; 
they weren’t warehoused for a life of stink and filth.
They are the inverse of scapegoats: suffer liberty 
and tender, attentive care to cover for the rest—
multitudes hoisted and hacked, gutted and wrapped. 
Thankful at the table, see and smell the golden, 
roasted bird—headless, plucked, and stuffed—
and give thanks for the generous spread of luck:
you here, and not there. Surely that rings a bell.

Matthew Murrey is the author of the poetry collection Bulletproof (Jacar Press, 2019). He's published widely, most recently in The Dodge, Bear Review, and Redheaded Stepchild. He was a public school librarian for 21 years, and lives in Urbana, IL with his partner. He can be found on Instagram, Twitter/X and Bluesky under the handle @mytwords.