Today's poem is by Jane Hirshfield


I had lived on this earth
more than fifty years
before hearing the sound
of sixteen New Hampshire Reds
settling in before sleep.
Dusk gathered
like a handkerchief
into a pouch
of clean straw.
But only fifteen
adjusted themselves
on the wooden couch.
One, with more white in her feathers
than the feathers of others,
still wandered outside,
away from the chuckling,
some quiet joke
neither she nor I quite heard.
"The foxes will have you," I told her.
She scratched the ground,
found a late insect to feast on,
set her clipped beak to peck at my shoe.
Reached for, she ran.
Ran from the ramp
I herded her toward as well.
I tried raccoons, then cold.
I tried stew.
She found a fresh seed.
Her legs were white and clean
and appeared very strong.
We ran around the coop
that way a long time,
she seeming delighted, I flapping.
Darkness, not I, brought her in.

Copyright © 2009 Jane Hirshfield All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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