When the riotous clucking of chickens
careens you from sleep at 5 a.m.
you find yourself barefoot
in wet grass, struck by the sight
of a bronze fox leaping in gorgeous pursuit
of zigzagging chickens, dizzy with fear
and while you love the fox, her grace and fur
her pulsing hunger, you shout HEY! as if
you had the means to harm her
The fox split-second turns, dances like a good
sport into the black woods. The birds
have fled to separate corners and straggle
slowly back, clucking softly for reassurance
One hen has lost what looks like half her feathers
in a damp clump, a monument to survival
It’s okay now, you say, tossing feed
but their chicken brains are ruffled
take till noon to smooth back to routine
that business of pecking at the ground
flocking together, the everyday
laying of delicate hope
inside a resilient shape

About the Author
Carol Graser lives in the Adirondacks of upstate New York and hosts a monthly poetry series at Saratoga Spring’s legendary Caffe Lena on the first Wednesday of every month. She has performed her work at various events and venues around NYS and has run poetry workshops for teens and at-risk youth. Her work has been published in Devilfish Review, Midwifery Today, So to Speak, Southern Poetry Review, and Big City Lit, among others. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Wild Twist of Their Stems (Foothills Publishing).