Chicken Roll by Diane M Dickson


I’ve been in the park, lunchtime I went to sit in the sunshine.  It was nice.   I was on my own as usual and today I just had an apple.  It was small, red on one side, green on the other and there was a small bruise near the bottom.  I hadn’t brought sandwiches today.  Partly because I was late up and didn’t have much time but mostly because I only had chicken roll in the fridge.

I hate chicken roll and don’t know why I buy it but anyway I do, every bloody week actually.  I can never remember taking it out of the chiller or putting it in my basket and then feeding it onto the conveyor at the check-out.  But, whenever I go to choose my sandwich filling there it is, a pack of the stuff.

I did wonder at one time if someone was putting the chicken roll in the fridge when I wasn’t there.  I know, I live on my own and the idea is ludicrous but occasionally I have these bizarre thoughts.  So, now and again I wonder if someone is actually breaking in and putting chicken roll in the fridge.  It’s daft; actually it’s probably a bit weird.  Anyway sometimes I do remember taking it out of the carrier bag and sliding it onto the fridge shelf.

It’s always the same sort that I don’t buy, it’s cheap and a bit gristly, I buy best quality ham, free range eggs, the finest salmon and organic vegetables.  I earn a fairish salary and a lot of my money goes on food.  I care about what I eat and drink.  What I put into my body matters to me it really does but every week there it is, cheap chicken roll.

Sometimes I do actually just throw the bloody stuff out, I take it as it is, unopened and chuck it straight in the bin.  Some days though that seems so wasteful, and I think of people going hungry and me throwing food away and then on those days I put it on the cooked meat shelf with all the nice stuff, the good stuff.

There are days, rare times, when I actually make a sandwich with it.  Maybe I haven’t got anything else that I fancy or maybe I just think, oh well why not? And then I slap it between two slices of Multigrain.  I use organic, unsalted butter, home-grown lettuce and the best vine tomatoes and I pile all this lovely food on top of the slab of grey slimy meat.

Most of the time I don’t eat it.  When I open my lunch box and see it sitting there, thin and pale and artificial looking I just can’t face it and so I fling the lot away anyway.  It’s really odd I know, I can’t explain it.

Steve now, Steve used to love it, chicken roll.  That last day, the day of the accident, that was what I made his sandwiches from.  When they brought the stuff from the wreck to me in the hospital his lunch box was there full of his sandwiches, chicken roll on sliced white.  I miss him so much.

Diane M Dickson

12 thoughts on “Chicken Roll by Diane M Dickson

  1. Beautiful and sad! Well done, Diane. It’s the little things that remind us of the big persons!
    ATVB My friend


  2. I have to own up. You got me. I didn’t see that coming. You’ve managed to get a lot of feeling into a mundane event, Diane. I really enjoyed this. All the best. Vic.


    • Thanks June. the picture is actually the riverside park in Stratford Upon Avon just across the water from there is the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre and not very far away is The Bards birthplace and the church where he is buried. I love going there and keep hoping some of his magic is floating around in the air and I can breathe it in!! 🙂


  3. Well I have to say I don’t feel guilty about the chicken roll – it’s disgusting stuff. I don’t know about Shakespeare his stuff does move me but I have never quite learned to appreciate Wordsworth he’s a bit too erm refined for me. Thanks so much for the comment


  4. Great idea to use something as mundane as chicken roll as a vehicle to explore and describe loss and heartbreak. Very clever and as always a joy to read. Cheers, Nik


  5. Hi Diane, this totally changed in meaning for me. I thought the poor soul was losing it but no, it was about loss. This reminded us all how a very innocent thing can flood us with memories and we sometimes hold on to that just for those moments.
    Beautiful and tragic.


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