the TAO of CHANGE

a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

BETTER THE EGGS THAN THE BIRD

these days
when there’s barking in my dreams
it usually means
that a dog is actually barking at me.

I hear it: during
a car crash
or just after
the steamiest moment
of the most unlikely
sexual encounter ever
and then
I wake up
right before the sunrise
and my neighbor’s
grey, senile dog
will be outside my window
yelling in some empty way.

I am
half-asleep
half-naked
a confused bird of a man
emerging from the down filled nest
I’ve constructed inside
my unheated shack.
I dress, fly out the door
then squawk and flap my wings
to scare the old dog
back down the driveway.
I am five feet eleven
inches of goosebumps
beneath my longjohns
and other layers.

my eyes water from the cold
and, after I am done getting huffy,
I walk around to squint
at the hungry footprints outside
the chicken coop;
snowy remnants of night time
fence circling spent
trying to find a spot I’d missed.

(one time I did miss a spot
and I found feathers scattered
across the field, the work of
wind and strong jaws.
I am better at building fences now.)

a hen pokes her head
out through the second-hand
wool sweater
that I draped over the door
to keep the heat in.
she clucks the slow, tired cluck
of a chicken that greets each
early snowy morning
without a rooster to rouse her,
and I try to say soothing
empty things
while I break the ice
in her water bowl
and check her nest for eggs.

the hens are old
and I got them second hand,
so it is not every day
that I find an egg or two
hidden in the mulch hay
that lines the coop.
on the days that I do
I crack the shells over a
pan still greasy
with the past dozen meals,
warm my hands
above the sizzling,
and throw the leftovers
across the street
where I know that dog is waiting.

(Note about author: Georgio is a graduate working on his thesis, living entirely off-grid in Vermont, w/o plumbing or heat. He shares his homestead with a few chickens, )

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