November 2000

Amanda Pritchard Moore


Amanda Pritchard Moore is an MFA candidate and part-time lecturer at Cornell University, where she also serves as Managing Editor for Epoch magazine. A native of the Midwest, she has lived in Costa Rica, Thailand, and England, and is now braving hilly central New York the best she can. Her poems are published or forthcoming in journals including 5am, Pearl, The Salt River Review, and
Sonnet While Killing a Chicken    Click to hear in real audio

The most important thing a girl can learn
is how to kill a chicken for a meal
to please a man, so she begins to turn
the bird by neck and bound feet—this skill real,
precise, my mother wringing damp bath towels
and snapping them on our rumps like the neck
snaps in the hand, wings sputtering, bowels
release shit. The bird, its broken neck thick
with draining blood, is lowered to a tub
and bathed in scalding water. Feathers pulled
like flowers from roots. Feet sliced off. Wings nubbed
like a girl's new-formed breasts. Tender meat culled.
The chicken flat on its dead back. The knife
just above its neck. The girl. The first slice.



Amanda Pritchard Moore: Poetry
Copyright 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 14The Cortland Review