a chicken called Wanda
Tonight I’m in Ollie’s old bed, watching Sophia play.
Her room is way better than the bathtub. There’s so much to look at!
Twinkly lights, gilded peacock wallpaper, bits of yarn, rainbow pens, swirly fan, picture books, Pokemon cards, soft poofy animals, spray bottles, potions, lotions, and plastic baby humans with frozen blue eyes. I could go on!
I slept in here the last two nights. This vintage doll bed makes a nice, comfortable roost. And I’d just closed my eyes when Jennifer snuck in and grabbed me. Arrghh this human!
“Come on, girl,” she said. “It’s time.”
Time for what?
She carried me to the back door.
What was she doing?
The door creaked open to stuffy night air.
Where were we going?
We crossed the yard and entered the coop where Jenkins, Babs, and Wanda huddled on the roost.
Jennifer squeezed me tight then kissed my head before placing me next to Wanda. The girls twittered in confusion.
“Be nice,” she warned, mostly to Jenkins.
I wrapped my toes tight around the roost. Wanda looked at me then scooted as far away as she could, acting so put out my own dang sister pulled that silly hen under her wing.
If Wanda ever wonders why she’s the weakest link, I’ll remind her of that moment right there. Missus Jenkins stuck her neck out to examine me, but with two hens between us there wasn’t much she could do.
Thirty minutes later, Jennifer found me quite happy against the wall. I would’ve preferred snuggling next to Babs, but the fact I’m up here without incident is good enough for now.
I can’t believe I’m out here!
Late night tv illuminating dark windows blue.
Bugs swarming yellow porch lights and Ollie, fwapping through the cat flap.
You’ve may’ve heard chickens have short memories —it’s true.
I’d forgotten the night.
The girls coo softly.
A neighbor dog barks and another answers, far away.
It smells like safeness.
It smells like home.
Did you know that crickets sing lullabies?
They sing about moonbeams.
I close my eyes.
the glass divide
At first I was confused.
The cardinals woke me up.
—warm at my side?
I opened my eyes to Babs, right next to me.
Sitting quiet and pretty like she does.
I made Wanda switch places, she said.
The backdoor screetched and out flew spaghetti like clumps of sticky worms.
Wanda and Missus Jenkins bolted for the porch but me and my sister moved slow on account of my toe.
Ready? said Babs, helping me down the ramp.
I could tell Jenkins wanted to bully me but I also knew she wouldn’t, if that makes any sense.
I paused from eating then stepped back a few paces, trying to look inside.
The window’s up high so I backed up some more.
Until I can see her.
I see the web first.
Then there she is.
Staring down at me, too.
Her old face still.
We locked eyes for a long time.
And right then I learned silence can be very, very loud. And if anyone executes a requiem of feelings with their eyeballs, it’s that spider.
I, however, do not posses that skill.
I never took time to speak to you, spiderlady. I’m sorry.
I relayed this by stomping my left foot and tipping by head sideways.
She stared into me, her eyes symphonic dewdrops, and I knew she understood.
So then I willed her peace and whatever love she needs.
And flies, I added, quickly. Lots and lots of flies.
She turned away and I returned to my noodles.
Now don’t quote me.
But I think spiders smile on the inside, too.
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Or maybe just show someone that pic of me and Babs.
People don’t need big, expensive reasons to smile.
2 thoughts on “Beryl’s Chicken Diary. (9)”
I sort of remember you telling me once that poetry wasn’t your thing…but I think that was a big fat lie because this is poetry.
More like free verse, really. xo