Chicken Bones

Chicken Bones

Some will say to examine the long dead
black hen in her immodesty disregards
all she once was, she who nested
beneath a wild pink rose, brooding
with her secret eggs, weeds and snow,
to roll back the stones meant to keep
skunk and raccoon, a dozen chickens,
and me with my shovel from mocking
the importance of her bones.

I could argue it nothing more
than science this desire to dig up
the backyard garden, to extract
bones from soil and rock, to take
from the earth the remains of one
small hen buried these four years,
document the diminished pomp
that served her a dog’s lifetime,
decipher what we minions, worm,
bacteria have to say about memory,
what’s become of her flesh, jeweled
feather, talon and beak, to marvel at
the diligence of roots and rain, note
how separation made anonymous
breast and rib. See here the tidy skull
tucked in, this where her wings used to be.

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