James Lineberger


She and Chris are down
from three hens to just
two now and the one that
can no longer walk is not
responding to the antibiotic
from Tractor Supply so
Jennifer thinks the old girl
may have suffered a stroke
and after she “passes over”
they will probably just throw
in the towel and give the last
bird to Chris’ brother Michael
who is looking to rebuild his
flock after some wild dogs
got to them dogs yes it was
dogs Michael said we could
see their tracks going off in
the woods leaving tore up hen
bodies behind not from hunger
but sport won’t no fox leave
corpses to rot foxes eat what
they kill but a damn dog that
was raised on somebody’s
hearth by the warmth of a wood
fire and never had to want for
anything has got no more sense
than to run off after some other
idiots barking in the night
and raise hell over what over
just being a damn dog but it’s
not only the dogs take my neighbor
down the road did three tours in
Iraq and comes back a para on
a wheelie but he’s got a AR-15
with the sear filed down and a
laser scope and there he sits all
day on the shade porch blasting
at squirrels or jays or whatever
and when he first moved here we
took him a basket of fresh eggs
like you know welcome home
but he said no, sir, no ma’am, he
wouldn’t touch them hadji brown
speckled things if he can’t have white
eggs don’t give him no eggs at all.