Sherry Rind

A Day of Good News
by Sherry Rind

I raked the wet apple-leaves into the hen yard
where the young chickens prowled around the pile, suspicious of this new thing

until the boldest, the chestnut tinted Rhode Island Red
picked at a leaf, dropped it, lifted a minute bug,
stepped forward, followed by the other three

and then began their dance of foot forward and pulling back
head dipping for larvae and woodlice,
the hidden eggs of slugs and millipedes
forward, back, peck, muttering and singing to each other

until all the leaves were spread across the pen
as they had been over the lawn;
now each one examined and plucked clean,
a tablecloth of gold and brown covering the mud
churned now with manure, food for microbes

that will pick apart the fabric
and leave lacework skeletons and leaf mold
for worms to weave through their veiny tunnels in the soil—
the red hen and black, the tan and ochre
turning and turning the leaves, not attending
to the misty rain laying over us a beadwork like crystal.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

Sherry RindSherry Rind is the author of four collections of poetry and editor of two books about Airedale terriers. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Anhinga Press, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, and King County Arts Commission. Her poems have appeared recently in Cloudbank, Marathon Literary Review, Crosswinds, Weatherbeaten, Shark Reef Review, and others.

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