Two Hens


Make prayer at the concrete trough
beneath the dripping tap. Flush now with summer
the water poplars graze a slow benediction
over the birds, and a miser’s rain falls through the morning.

From my desk I look out on this
epitome of good fortune and pray for more

rain. The weather has turned. It will do that
if you wait. The wind is in the south
and the leaves of the poplars shiver silver
as though something that was wounded is now healed.

These past days have tried and found me
wanting, and I have almost failed, but here

I am, still who I always was,
only more so. The days you love are not
the days that prove you. Winter is my weather;
I grow by waiting. And there is no end

of the dying one did not know
one had yet to do to one’s self.

But you’ve had days like these. I envy
the hens the steady circle of their days,
but this is not how mine go; I am strung from stars
that once were gods and can’t seem to forget.

from The Road South (River Road Press, 2008), Mark Tredinnick 2008, used by permission of the author and River Road Press

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