Before We Let the Hens Out

Northport, Maine
The rooster must have crowed at dawn but I slept still, in the dark, with the woodsmoke, under the soot stained eaves, up in the loft, between the mat and the blankets—a nest of down from the feathered forefathers of the brood out back. The windblown pane in its splintered frame rattled me awake. I kept my nose below the horizon of the covers. I barely dared to get my forehead cold. I peeped out the window at the foot of the bed. Whipped up snow blurred the picture, like static on the old RCA in the kitchen. The sound was crystal clear. Iced branches tinkled, whistled, snapped. Maybe this is what the chickens mean when they say the sky is falling.

About the author

Emily is a flat-footed, wide-eyed New Englander who has battled blisters from Vancouver to Geneva and shed a little skin in Guangzhou. She holds…

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Issue 21 · October 2014

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