Blue Eggs

by Kimi Hardesty

Leaves twirl like ballerinas from tall branches, 
land on brown ferns, black seed heads of echinacea,
still-green leaves of fall anemone.

I watch my four hens, a soft conversation of clucks, among them.
In the gardens, they move like a small army,
dark legs scratch black earth, eyes dart for fat-bodied grubs
and squirrels’ buried treasures.

Marin, the fifth hen, doesn’t arrive with the original four
in a summer of hope
for a new chicken farmer.
My desire for blue eggs now her curse.

She stands on yellow legs, a lost soul
on the other side of the yard, 
imaginary boundaries hold her a loneliness captive.
Marin wears alienation, the pecking like a heavy cloak,
her neck tired of drooping.

In morning sun, last to come out the hen house door, 
no clucks or chirps
as a silent resolution covers the yard and 
my heart breaks for her once again.

photo credit: Kimi Hardesty