Catherine Cronin

Roast Chicken

Catherine Cronin

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There’s a dinosaur in my oven, skin crisping under Italian oil,

perched on French onions, stuffed with Sicilian lemons.

We add all the flavour to the bird that once inspired the warring

Themistocles who never would have thought to broil this brawler.

I can already feel it in my mouth: easy to chew, soft stringy texture,

the right amount of bland. It’s a flavour we’d like all creatures to have.

Someone else raised her over six weeks to reach my heat. Someone else

plucked, bound, beheaded her. Someone else wrapped her in plastic so I

could roast away ten millennia of history for a Sunday. It was holy once:

Roman alectormancy, divination, and its morning call to Christ-deniers.

Now, she clucks a short life to corn-fed completion, her heavier breast juicy

with meat and nourishing in her global billions. This flightless wonder.

Deep-fried for Christmas in Tokyo. Curried for a coronation.

Schmaltz rendered for the finest matzo ball soup. This flesh of versatility.

I plan my leftovers – that Tupperware transformation after roasting. Caesar salad,

club sandwich, or spicy quesadilla? Anything to make the tasteless taste better.

Catherine Cronin

Catherine Cronin is an Irish writer currently living in Zurich, Switzerland. After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2018, writing became essential for coping with her new way of living. Themes of femininity, home, mythology, and mortality feature in her work. In 2021, her first play Håber Undone, was selected for an online rehearsed reading with Druid as part of their Debuts Online series. Her second piece, the one-woman show, Orphan Disease, premiered in Zurich that same year, and was staged in Kilkenny in April 2022. She was commissioned to write a third play, Caged, which was performed in Zurich in December 2022. Catherine also had poems published that year by Blood Moon Poetry and Beyond the Veil Press, as well as short stories by The Kilkenny Observer. She is now working on her first poetry collection.

Website: Instagram: @catherinecronin_writer