Arah Ko

It hurts how trustingly they lean into my hands,

softer than dandelion seeds, scent like protein,

cut grass, grave dirt. Fat, glossy birds with lives

so short I’ve witnessed nearly every way

they end: cannibalism, old age, illness, a stray’s

bloodied muzzle, a rusty shovel. And yet

an inexhaustible love keeps hatching eggs every

spring, flocking to the roosting pole night after night.

The littlest born this summer called Menace for her

recklessness visits me by the porch, scaled feet,

plump cheeks do not suggest the bright green eggs

she’ll lay if she survives to winter. Be safe, I say, pecking

at small human fears. You know nothing her eyes admonish

me, as she steals from rich earth another worm.

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