Catching Chickens

Valentine loves to be held.

     She pecks at my jeans, squints into the sun, practically begs.

But she’s scrawny and hen-pecked.

     Comb always bloody.  Knobby feet.

The others I’ve never touched.

     Sure, as downy chicks.  Never since.

Stunning creatures proudly strutting,

     Every tail feather in place.

I’ve tried several methods of capture.

     Step One – Earn Trust.  Hand feed them.

          Cabbage.  Carrots.  Cauliflower.

     Step Two – Employ subterfuge.

          Stoop down still as a stone, and then –

     Step Three – Cut off escape.  Corner one.

          I do not recommend step three.

I’m working on a poem about catching chickens.

     First attempt – Focus.  Concentrate.  Think chickens.

                    So much depends on a red wheelbarrow

     Second attempt – Relax.  Clear your mind.  Try NOT to think.

                    About a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater

     Third attempt – Just write.  Stream of consciousness.

                    Just . . . a stream . . . beside the white chickens

Some poems beg to be written.

     I’ve held one or two.

But they’re usually jerky.

     Scrawny symbolism.  Knobby feet.

Others strut across the page.

     Stunning.  Majestic.

     Almost untouchable,

          But so worth the chase.

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