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The Chicken Coop
By Beverly Z. Davis
Copyright 2000 Beverly Z. Davis
About scenes on a farm with a chicken coop.
Snow piled winter of Missouri
wraps trees in ice.
Limbs, summer asleep inside,
creak and crack. Each blow of wind
raises swirling ghosts that disappear
across undulating drifts of white
Laboring the buried path to the chicken coop
my steps sinking thru crusted surface crunch
icy shock into the tops of my boots
Morning laden with reflected light
burdens my eyes, no hand to wipe my nose,
in one, a pail of water, the other feed.
The salty taste stings my lips,
freezes on my skin.
Doubled gloved, finger tips numb
begin to burn
as I shove open first the gate
then the door of the chicken coop.
Pungent smell of feathers and droppings
their song of cackling, stirred warmth
of softly flapping wings.
in the dim light little heads, puffed bodies
bob on their perches
stretch their necks, blink glassy eyes
choosing the moment, jump
to the straw covered floor
excited for the corn
. . . . peck about my feet.