About the House

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As a child I lingered outside

the henhouse at dusk

to eavesdrop on the low

chuckle of hens inside

but I never questioned

their habits just as

I didn’t question

many other things,

then.

 

Now I wonder—

how they knew

to gather inside, on parallel

horizontal poles, no less.

 

Did some biddies squabble over who

got to perch next to Rooster—

 

or who got to be farthest away?

 

Was there one with fancy feathers

who couldn’t abide the constant

chuff-chuffing of her roost-mates,

the way they couldn’t settle

themselves without a fuss?

 

Was there one who balked at what was expected,

one who preferred a gnarled limb 

or a secret spot beneath a dense bush? 

 

Wasn’t there at least one feisty hen

who stayed outside to gaze

at the Milky Way, to stretch

her neck and stare in slack-beaked

amazement at a waxing gibbous,

a waning crescent moon?

 

 

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