Seventeen hens, two ducks, a goose, all prime
laying age, well fed and warm. But when you check the coop
on the coldest day of the year
only one sits on eggs, a dozen or more,
her feathers—sunlight through agate, a child’s brown hair
wide as a poncho or a wall tent poorly staked.
Her beak faces backward. Steadfast.
But why? Ponds of the future,
says the radio voice, will have fewer tadpoles. . . .