Poem to the Editor: Time to talk turkey

A quirky turkey poem for the University of Minnesota.

Brian Gibbens

With kin gathered ‘round, for Thanksgiving lunch,

It’s time to share facts, that pack quite a punch.
Think you know turkeys? Well here’s food for thought,
You can learn more while the turkey’s still hot:
Tofurkeys are turkeys made without meat,
Turduckens, it’s said, are quite hard to beat.
While these types are good to try if your able,
I’m gonna focus on what’s on your table.

The turkey you eat, as I understand,
Was first tamed and raised, within Mayan land.
Turkey the country, named Turkey the bird,
Or something like that, ‘cause that’s what I heard.
To name a group, the term that you’re after
Is “posse” or “gang”, “raffle” or “rafter.”
The girl is a ‘hen,’ the boy is a ‘tom,’
Both have fine features they wear with aplomb.
Both have chin waddles, and snoods on their beaks,
A red dangly snood is what the hens seek.
The hens judge the toms, by length of their snood,
(Which if you ask me, is really quite rude!)
While they can’t mate (unless they’re assisted),
Turkeys on farms have somehow persisted.
Hens poop a spiral and toms poop a J,
But I don’t know why they do it that way.

Benjamin Franklin, despite what you heard,
Didn’t suggest it as national bird.
He found them silly, but also brave too,
A true native bird, they’re red, white, and blue!
Roosevelt (Teddy), our nation’s “bull moose,”
Found them quite cunning, much more than a goose.

Those big turkey toms are ready to fight,
They’ve spurs on their legs, and also, they bite!
A turkey can fly and sometimes it soars,
They are descended from big dinosaurs.
The dark meat in drumsticks, helps turkeys run.
Still don’t believe me? Go race one for fun!
I know that turkeys run faster than you,
Also, their vision is much better too!

Overindulge and you’ll crash in a heap,
But turkey is not what puts you to sleep.
One final fact that I think is quirky:
Big Bird’s feathers all came from a turkey.
Eating some turkey would be really nice,
The lesson is done, so pass me a slice.

This poem was submitted by Brian Gibbens, a teaching associate professor at the University of Minnesota.