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U3A Writing: Henpecked

The character in Lee Cohen’s poem is well and truly henpecked – and delighted to be so.

I stood alongside Zara’s hen and counted slowly to ten.
Then put my hand in and pulled out a pen.
But goodness, just listen to what happened then.
“Put it back, put it back,” a strange voice called out
I looked around but saw no one about.

Must be my own conscience, I had no doubt
Yet not so, because then came another shout.
“You thief, you common thief; how could you?”
Again, I searched, not knowing what to do.

I felt unnerved but had no clue
The voice was someone’s. But, dear me – Who?
“The sounds you hear, come from me
Turn you head and you will see.”

I could not believe, no it could not be
But yes, ‘twas the hen, it was definitely he.

“OK, OK,” I obeyed the odd bird
‘You may have it back, I heard, I heard.”
Have I gone mad, this is absurd
But I felt that he should have the last word.
I put the pen back.

For courage I did lack
Or maybe my brain was starting to crack
Unless this creature had a unique knack
I then decided we should be friends
Accept some many peculiar trends

Occasionally fun things life to us lends
Instead of going straight, let’s go round the bends
So now, me and the hen often take tea
We do get odd looks, but just let them be.
For it’s wonderful to like this fantasy
And I know the looks are mere jealousy.


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