Well, Sally Hen, how do you like your home?
A straight run from the east to the west
with hardscrabble fit for a choral dance
and overhead, a walnut tree,
lord of ice and obstacles.
In the morning dark or dusk of an afternoon,
you softly cluck, then settle down
to roost in mercury-vapor light
with spring behind your lids.
At its first true intimations,
you bend on backward knees
to crop a tussock of cloverleaf,
raising a lateen tail above the trough.
Tufted auriculars disregard
horn and drums, mahogany tones
of a tenor deep within the house,
but not the soft chromatic descent
of snowmelt, or a breath of wind.
From a fallow bed, so much undone,
your parched and reptilian cry proclaims
a perfect form of incompletion:
first egg of the year.