Left with the Care of the Farm

Left with the Care of the Farm

The banty rooster’s strident call
is light years from grinding war, spinning news,
suspicions of sects and warring politicians.
His raucous bluster reminds me of a push-button
toy gargling squawks only a child enjoys.

A hawk whistles across the pasture.
The rooster heard it, a wild away.
He pesters his minions to obey
and the flock does…to a point.
Broody hens’ chicken brains fog
with love for an egg no chick will ever crack.

The rest of the silky bantams
trot their majorette top knots
in proximity but not formation.
A dance I know – take direction
just so; retain waywardness as needed.

My dog flinches from the rooster who flies in her face.
This morning she quivered watching
a deer glean from the apple tree.

Goat squadron commander Mary teaches
about the wildness of goat slit eyes, her kind
who have wandered with people
for nine thousand years.
Her kids butt heads.

The barn cats sneak up in morning mists
that swaddle the valley walls.
The bay mare accepts
hand-offered lush grass, blows at me.
We won’t be here very long, gone back
to demagogues, bluffs and bloodshed.
So much singing blues

in the patience of broodiness.
I gather the wariness of goat eyes,
warm wind comfort, cat focus,
the sweetness of ripe pears, mountain fog,
columbine seeds, and dappled eggs.
I may need them all.


Poet’s note: Tricia Knoll is a regular farmsitter at the Broadfork Farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In June, The Poetry Box released a collection of poems, Broadfork Farm, about the creatures of the farm below the woods of Mt. Adams.


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