Lauren Mitchell The 2River View, 10.1 (2005)
Some ChickensListen

after Gustav Klimt's After the Rain

Not that chickens are the most noble of fowl, but they thrive in a zen stasis of
peck-step—and they know their prey as well as any. An ant or lizard is no match: everything remains in its place. I've seen them in markets dangling by their feet, open mouthed, their sharp tongues protruding, wings spread as if they could fly out of their misery. Or even fly. Workers dip the limp bodies in boiling water so the feathers
slough off without resistance.

And they roam freer than others—

But where would you go if you were a chicken? Out beyond the fences? Into the roads and cities, to get a desk and a chevy? You don't need walls to know them. Like the woman who gazes at the planes overhead while sitting in traffic. Or the man who shoulders his cross up a steep hill and pauses, just for a moment. And those who watched, because everyone sees themselves in the eyes of a corpse.

But just look at them stippling the grass among the flowers—It's as if the sky could fall and they would know where to run.

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