Black Hen


I must have believed that soupy death

all dark and dreamy with the precision of night

the cut blade of infinite was not for you.


Your feathers dusted up a grief I couldn’t place

in my child world right and wrongness.

The bite mark in your back was enough to let you go by.


I remember thinking spinach might save you:

these feathers so dark they were green in the dim cave.

I kept you alive for days, then death swallowed you,


much as my dog had wished to, when he bit down

through plumage and bone; the damage was done –

but I had to test if love could hold you


much in the way I saved selected snails,

spent tenderness on earthworms you – hen – would happily have turned

into part of you.  Your reflective eyes.


2 thoughts on “Black Hen

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