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Foxes and Hens
by Julia Bouwsma

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.

placesaver2Julia Bouwsma’s poems and reviews are published or forthcoming in: Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, Cutthroat, Natural Bridge, The Progressive, Puerto del Sol, Salamander, RHINO, Sugar House Review, and others. Bouwsma serves as a Coeditor for Shape&Nature Press, Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, and Poetry Editor for New Plains Press. A writer, editor, teacher, and farmer, she lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine.

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