augury doggerel

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Hen's Teeth

The kid and I walked through the woods on a visit to the old woman with the turkey and chickens. The woman and the big tom met us at the gate.

Her husband, she says, is on the land in the country with cows. She stays here in a board shack you would push over if you were rude enough to lean. Her hands are dirty and her mouth shows bare gums when she laughs, but she laughs. And she keeps beautiful chickens.

She showed us two fistfuls of eggs and matched each size and color to a different sort of chicken behind her. One egg was from a hen snatched last night. A fox, says the woman, comes in from the hills.

The turkey protects the front gate. He looks inside out from the neck up, a red and blue brain with eyes, a beak in ghastly drapery. A lonely dog is chained in the back. But a fox at night is soft pads in dust and grass.


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