March 26, 2023

Coronation Chicken

by Maria Masington

The regal name, so important sounding, that I ordered without reading the ingredients.
It’s basically chicken salad. No pomp, no circumstance, just meat, apricots, mayonnaise,
served cold.

I felt the same letdown on what I was told would be the happiest day of my life. Love, but
no joy, just an overwhelming sense of impending responsibility to keep him safe and alive.
The task seemed daunting at 25.

Queen Elizabeth was 25 when she took the throne, national responsibility placed upon her head
encased in a five-pound crown of jewels. A gold trimmed cloak, the literal weight of the world,
draped around her stoic shoulders.

Holding my seven-pound baby, I felt the burden. The yoke around my neck. I was chicken,
sans fruit, sans dressing, postpartum depression butchering my dried-up carcass.

Positive he’d be better off with another mother, scared to bathe him, terrorized by his cry, I
crumbled as he turned his head away, weaning himself at five-weeks-old, and behind the
disappointment, relief. 


Maria Masington  is a poet, author, and spoken word artist from Wilmington, Delaware. Her poetry has appeared in over two dozen publications including The News Journal, Gargoyle, The Broadkill Review, Adanna,  Earth’s Daughters, Never Forgotten: 100 Poets Remember 9/11, and by the University of Colorado.  She has had seven short stories published in both local and international presses. 
Parnilis Media released Masington’s first chapbook, Mouth Like a Sailor, in 2021. It was awarded first place by both the Delaware Press Association and National Federation of Press Women. She has been acknowledged as a three-time Delaware Division of the Arts Fellow in both poetry and prose.Maria is a member of The Mad Poet Society and works as “your friendly emcee” to support the artistic community. Her work and upcoming events can be found at “Maria Masington Amazon.”