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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


grassy hillside bare
toes squish
gain purchase
dark brown earth.
Upturned red worms
seek darkness.

Ten fingers
clumps of crabgrass
boy pulls himself
pushes off
mossy stump
runs down
arms spinning
snorts of air
jumps sideways
dodging invisible foes
wind draws tears
down cheek
muddy red t-shirt
frayed edges
clings to slim torso

he runs
climbs ancient oak tree
griping shreds of bark
ten fingers encircle 
long, sturdy limbs
he jumps,
pumping legs
flings himself in the air. . .

Stop that, Brian! It’s not safe. Get over here.

His mother
worry wearing thin
puckering peach-tinted lips.

walks over
plunks down
on a brightly colored square of plastic
designed for easy assembly
so ten tiny fingers
will not get caught.

folds in on himself
swings his legs off the side of the bright plastic cube
absently kicking
his mom returning to her paperback

Ten baby chickens
snuggled inside
high metal wall
watering tub home
under heat lamp waves.

Personalities, silent
make startling proclamations
when ten baby chicks
are released
into the yard.

Let the real sun
which has made a welcome April appearance
warm them.

White tiny ball of feathers
jumps from my hand
flaps wings
lands on
sweet summer grass
dashes right, left
chirping like a car alarm.

Grey one,
dark streaks
smudged eyeliner
reminds me of Flock of Seagulls.
She runs
directly to the highest point
caws loudly.

Orange baby chick
neat white, brown and tan spots
sports shinny black tail feathers clumped together
a blunt triangle
like a rudder propelling her
dashes madly,
stops so suddenly
you can almost hear the cartoon screeeech!

Black baby chick
red and green undertones
that shimmer in sunlight
runs in circles
flaps her wings

Grey and silver chick
stretches each wing methodically
flaps one then the other

Brown and black baby chick
pecks at a blade of grass that arches
over her. 
She is determined. 
She rests.
Begins again.
Finally, snatches the tip mid-hop.
Triumphant, she scoots off
pecking at an ant carrying a cracker crumb.

Sun dims
shadows cool air,
one by one
I place them back
inside watering tub home.
They collapse
a collage of colors
clustered under
amber heat lamp light.
They do not run or chirp
They do not scratch cedar chips
do not stretch wings.
They fold in on themselves.

I watch ten baby chicks
silent in a safe contained tub.
I remember
hold dear
rowdy, loud children
grass in hair
dirt on face
laughing madly as they climb
with reckless abandon
to the edge of tree limbs
swaying under the weight
as they climb, climb, climb.