The hens shrill us awake into the bullet dawn. Only animals move quickly in this primordial light. My husband makes coffee with my rifle in his hand. He goes to work, leaves it on the kitchen table for me to see. Some days our hilltop is a balding arc of granite—something you could hatch right out of. The fox, so exquisitely brazen, takes two in broad daylight. I’m a lousy shot. The fox kills more than she can carry. My husband ties two dead birds to a stake and waits. The hens summer swell for a week. I walk a wide circle around them as I do my chores. The fox doesn’t return. On Sunday, he drives their bodies down the road and throws them to the trees.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.
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