there was nothing else to do that day.
eggs had been laid, the afternoon sprawled out
like astroturf, a long, wide expanse of
it was one, maybe two o'clock
the work of the day over
and efficiently handled.
something about the day itself, perhaps,
a friday, before the inevitable
weekend traffic, the bridge and tunnel crowd
still in the office, wrapping up emails and
out of all the week's fastidious employees
the chicken knew when to call it quits,
punch out even though the bossman
would notice the absence in the cubicled
henhouse, an empty seat,
an unfinished portion of seeds. there would be
the surprise of the abandon.
what? haven't i
taken care of you, fed you
to your heart's content,
provided shelter, a job, decent co-workers? haven't i kept
you safe, nurtured you, made the occasional adjustments
regarding conjugal visits, given you privacy at night
while you slept, gestating?
apparently not. the chicken, somehow,
knew of the road, imagined the slate grey
asphalt horizon, a long stretch of smooth
unbidden, a slim shaft of light
entered the coop, landed in a precise circle
before the hearth and nest and all that was familiar.
and a fine dust rose into the air,