Gone with the Hen by Rachel Anne Parsons

The dog killed a chicken today,
one of the little speckled hens.
Six years she’s lived on a farm
and not once before now
has she looked sideways at a bird.

Boredom, my dad says to me,
and I think that he’s right.
When you get all wound up
in one place, it’ll turn you mean
and you’ll bite a hand, a chicken,

anything that runs past your nose.
If she does it again, says my dad,
she’ll have to go. Gone, I think,
like that chicken is gone, like I
wanna be gone on rainy days.

Maybe I’ll up and go, then,
take the dog with me. After all,
she loves me, even if she bared 
her teeth at me when I reached
for the dead hen in her maw. 

We’ll both be gone like the hen,
gone like creatures go when they
walk a dirt floor pen too often
and they get wild in their eyes.
Chicken killers, all of them.

Rachel Anne Parsons is an Appalachian writer and poet who lives in Olive Hill, Kentucky. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing through the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. She has been previously published in Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, as well as Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel and Night Picnic Journal.

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