The black hen storms the house—pell-mell—
scuffling with the bedroom drapes and the
hard gravel of floor, talons clawing the oak
for straw, kicking up lint and scrimmaging
with socks in the same way that she takes on
the rooster and the afternoon hail, the wind
and the hand that feeds, nest-robbing magpies
and dogs, in the same way that she plaits
old hay between feathers, as if she means
to deck herself with ribbons for the next
Saturday dance, in the same way that she lets
instinct steer her to the barn where most
days she contents herself with brooding upon
the proof of her motherhood, except for this
extraordinary day when she detours among us.
We escort her out the door, as puzzled by her
small faith as she seems to be by the egg
that under her barrage of clucks glistens
only a moment. In the time it takes
the brown shell to dry, she disappears,
the world tumbling toward her perfect eye.
Appeared in “Whiskey Island Magazine”.