Sunday, June 7, 2009

Living in the Hen House

But it’s cozy here, all these fluffy
bits in the air, all this straw.
Cracks between planks ain’t bad
except when corn snow pellets in --
sometimes we pack straw and mud
flat-stuck on the walls.
That’s good until the sun warms up
and it cakes off onto pine slabs
we call bed. Gets messy.
Feather dusters -- we got troughs
of ‘em-- don’t help much.

Dang chickens peck at our toenails
but there’s the egg money. Buys
a trinket or two for the wife.
She’s partial to pink hair combs
and curlers. I’ll take the occasional
sour mash, a nip before a snore.

Okay, we do brood
now and again, you know,
that gloom that overwhelms
when the fox raps his clickety claws
on the lock, jaggles it
sometimes all night, a yap and a yelp.

We try not to get our hackles up,
being that it’s so tiny a hut.
Days it gets to feeling coopish,
we take a strut out in the yard
round about dawn, sing our
little hearts out for happiness.
Just scratchin' out a life
here and it ain’t half bad.

--T. Clear


  1. As an ex-poultry farmer I really can say that there's a weird coziness to the inside of a chicken coop-- of course it's kind of hard to breath in their what with "all these fluffy/bits in the air, all this straw."

    I enjoyed this so much. Wonderful tone, wonderful details!

  2. Nice to see you on Poetry Sunday. This is all very clever from beginning to end, with its wonderful double entendres everywhere, its great rhymes, which, in the right hands, somehow make a poem amusing - I particularly enjoyed "a nip before a snore" - and, as John says, its right on detail.

  3. Thank-you, John! I am not an ex-poultry farmer, so it's good to know I got the details correct!

    Mairi -- thanks for stopping by!

  4. "sing our
    little hearts out for happiness.
    Just scratchin' out a life
    here and it ain’t half bad"

    Chickens - me - the people I know - yes, we each have our own nesting and indeed "Just scratchin' out a life" - to find treasures, hopes, and dreams that keep the "scratchin" going... Love the post!

  5. love it, T.
    your fellow chicken

  6. Melinda, Rose Marie --

    Yep. You get it.

    (And Rose Marie, it's always a pleasure to know I have a new reader. Thanks for stopping by!)

    Bawk! Bawk!