The lid slams down on the roost box door,
The hens hear the fading sound of snow crunching underfoot.
I take pity on them, and return to the box,
shining my headlight on all three
in order to let them know that if the sky is falling
that we are now in this together.
I juggle feather, beak, bone, and re-enter the cabin.
9 p.m. It’s time to rise to the occasion,
so I do what these chickens cannot, which is light a fire in the woodstove.
Together, we eat cold cereal for dinner,
then listen to the radio – a conspiracy theorist tells us
that there will be no light unless we make the leap of faith.
“No,” I say, “you have it wrong.
There will be no leap of faith unless we have light.”
Best, I think, to count our blessings – a candle, a headlamp,
four propane burners, a pack of matches, a piece of flint.
Yes, these chickens and I have the world by the ovaries.
Birds and I, we hunker up to the loft,
where we’d have a view of the stars if there were stars
on this, the solstice, the longest night of the year.
Nexxt: 1/27/15: Chickens Past