Need Chickens?

In this glossy month of May, a black pile of manure in the tilled-up garden surrounded by emerald-green grass, my 12-year-old suggests we need chickens. With previous owners, chickens lived in our barn for decades, so a home for chickens exists with nesting boxes. My daughter’s friends, many of whom have chickens themselves, say, Of course you need chickens.

Maybe it’s just May, season of sunlight and long days, of wildflowers blooming rampantly, of my soil-dirtied hands and dinner outside, maybe my memories of ice and dark winter are already slipping, since I say good idea, and like that, chickens arrive.

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

— William Carlos Williams