adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, February 26, 2009

CHICKS

In Spring, the mailman brings chickens.
They were ordered weeks ago, following
much study of the Sears catalog.
This one's a good layer, said Dad.
Lets get at least fifty. Mom nodded;
she would be the one to fill out
the order blank, torn from the middle
of the thick catalog, write out a check
that wouldn't break a farmer's budget.
Dad and Mike have repaired the coop
(which shares a roof with the outhouse)
and now we wait. And wait! I cleaned
up the feeder and water tank myself;
Mom says we will place marbles in the water
so the chicks drink. They're pretty stupid
and need something shiny to catch
their attention. A bit like my brother.
They'll come while I'm at school,
probably, after the bus carries me
around the long gravel loop, past farm houses,
past the budding apple orchards and over
that final hill. A couple of cardboard boxes
with holes in the top so they can breathe,
soft peeping from the darkened interior.
The carrier here knows all about baby chicks
in the mail. He's been at it for a lot of Springs.
I've been helping plant the garden and Dad
says I can be responsible for feeding
the chicks when they come. We ordered
weeks ago and now the weather
is getting warmer so it's safe for them
to travel by mail. They'll come soon --
in Spring the mailman brings chickens.

Stephen Brooke ©2009

The mailman doesn't bring chickens anymore but he did drop off some trees and blueberry plants this morning. Which is what brought this memory (suitably altered with my recently renewed poetic license) and this poem along.

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