Dream Tales From the Barn
The white rooster is too new at this,
too newly glorious, victorious, to notice
how the west wind has flattened
its hand against the barnboards.
Yesterday's hero, named Choochoo,
still flaunting the sheen of his plumage
minus the prize green tail feathers, waiting
for his red crest to rise bravely
from the ashes of frostbite,
has taken it all in, flat wind and flimsy wood,
but he's too busy stewing about the hens
gone over to the other side, and the bald spot
on his back pecked larger by the day.
The flea-bitten brown cock who never stood a chance,
never sees the light of day, sits drilled into his lonely corner,
smugly aware of the wind's highly organized goings-on
cheering for it in his sad, airless heart, waiting
for the barn to cave in on a wild feathered frenzy,
waiting for the dust to settle, one chance in three.
by Ellen Doré Watson
from We live in Bodies
Alice James Books 1997