Poem | Mary V Williams

How to hypnotise a Chicken

Photograph  : Leela

Choose your chicken carefully,
a docile one; one who knows you well.
Draw a firm line on the barn floor,
between you and the exit.
Take up your chicken; tuck her under your arm like so.
Let her calm down a bit; you don't want her to flap,
then hold her gently but firmly down so that her beak
touches the line that leads from you to the barn door.
Stroke her with soothing rubs from head to neck.
The chicken will watch the line,
mesmerised by your stroking hand.
Let go of your chicken slowly.
She will stay transfixed, her eye upon the floor.

Choose your person carefully,
the quiet ones with adoring eyes are best.
Draw a firm line on the office carpet
between your desk and the door.
Stand your person in front of you. Use your authority,
like so. Let them calm down a bit. You don't want a fuss.
Give them some compliments. Remind them of their status.
The person will watch the door,
frozen with fear about redundancy.
Allow them to realise slowly,
as you let go, who is the master.
They will stay transfixed, watching your face for clues.

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