|Oct/Nov 2004 Poetry Special Feature|
Don't Count Your Chicks
Daffodils drooped the day Blanca,
the white silkie hen with exotic indigo skin,
head pecked the wet chicks to death.
She was always on the verge,
a distant aunt with troubled nerves,
wringing her hands, retreating east from the new
frontier, too bewildered to scratch up seed pods
and tombed grubs.
Her once endearing dumbness,
Bird Brained Bantam, now seemed twisted
Her strange scarlet eyes
glared vacant—moon cold.
I do not look for a thready pulse in patches of
as I bundle the chicks under the spreading rhubarb
leaves with their promise of toxicity.
Where is Darwin and his treatise on survival?
I stare across the way as new green stalks
thrust up through a pool of hundred year flood water.
Later, cranes pluck them up in pre-ordained patterns
driven by Avogadro's number.
In the heavy air chemical reactions wait
for a catalyst.