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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

i love this poet. i love this poem.

HENS

It's good for the ego, when I call and they come

running, squawking, and clucking, because it's feed time,

and once again I can't resist picking up little Lazarus,

an orange-and-white pullet I adore. "Yes, yes, everything will be

okay," I say to her glaring mongrel face. Come September,

she'll begin to lay the blue-green eggs I love poached.

God dooms the snake to taste nothing but the dust

and the hen to 4,000 or so ovulations. Poor Lazarus,

last spring an intruder murdered her sisters and left her

garroted in the coop. There's a way the wounded

light up a dark rectangular space. Suffering becomes

the universal theme. Too soft, and you'll be squeezed;

too hard, and you'll be broken. Even a hen knows this,

posing on a manure pile, her body a stab of gold.

Henri Cole

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