If you ever lose heart and the earth seems as distant as stars fading into the noise of your busy mind, know this. That a tiny island exists in the blue hands of the ocean. That a tree grows upright into the salted clouds. That two eagles love each other enough to spend their lives greeting the morning sun together. That two eaglets stand in their nest, gazing at the heavens. Looking down to the forever ground. They eat and sleep and flap their wings. And one day in July, one by one, they will jump into the air. They will know the difference between existing and what is beyond. They will hold onto nothing. The hurricane will come, courage catching their pinions on fire, as they mount the wind, climbing ladders into realms of the invisible.

--T.L. Stokes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Miracle: The Hen

Twenty degrees makes the night immediate.
The hen screams the end of life song: Repeat!, repeat!.
I'm coming and find her with her head stuck in the lattice,
by the front porch, where Linus the brown poodle left her.
I chase him off hollering. He catches another in the woods.

I gather her wet brown black ruffles in my arms,
circle her stillness, my voice coming down
around her like God. We find a plastic moving
crate, tilt it empty, fill it with a green fleece
and drag it with one free arm, the other full
of hen.

Inside the cabin I clear off the table. Put the crate
on it, cozy the fleece and slowly lower the hen.
I can't seem to move my left hand away. Honey
words come from me like breath. The dog
wonders about everything.

We sit back and wonder. Put on flute music. Begin
to warm chicken soup and rosemary loaf from the
oven. Periodically, I lift the blanket over the crate
and the hen looks up at me. She lays still and quiet
in the dark softness. Her life comes back
to her like this.

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