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M a r y   B u c h i n g e r







The old red coop


                        was white inside

when I was young, the narrow

wood-framed wire door swinging

shut behind me in a slam, rippled

through the round, nervy huddles.

The straw, hollow and rancid,

grew sharp in summer heat,

and I’d dare myself to breathe

with the hens, the hurried huff

of panted breath. One bloodied

pullet would bear it all. Feathers

rooted between my fingers,

none of us could fly.

copyright 2014 by Mary Buchinger

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