You'd Be Wrong
It’s a dazzling thing, this ice storm hanging mirrors on every bit of February here, like some remote castle has just set upon the day, dripping with jewels and renewal— you could almost think these sparkling alleys were clean, that your bootheels could reach as far as 100 moons, that this country was not at war with itself. You could even believe that children were safe inside their schools. If only that were true. If only this blue-finned horizon could pool its quiet in our bones, break our fever from this spell of carnival mirrors. The one where ignorance is the price of citizenship, where old dogs would have us think our greatest weapon is made of steel and not our mind.
I don’t know why I’m so surprised watching these chickens establish their place in the order of things—and how true, the ruffled feathers, the puff of breast, the prance, the blood on those beaks— this nature being nature. For days I’ve introduced this flock in small turns while the sky has been deciding itself— sun and gloom, wet as a winter moon. And now this moment bringing the new— to vie for their link in this chain means they must endure the shock of talons, cornered and beaten down until they submit, and even then it won’t end— every morning they will practice the hierarchy of their bird bodies in case their bird brains forget. How can it be so hard to watch these chickens do what we do?