Friday, July 03, 2015

Poetry Friday: Grave for a One-Week-Old Chick

My daughters have been house/dog/chicken sitting for the past week. It has been a fun experience for them overall, I think. They've had a chance to spend a few nights on their own, away from mom and dad, having to fend for themselves for food, and being responsible for the care of two dogs and a few dozen chickens!

All has gone well overall, except for the tragic, untimely death of one baby chick. My daughter wrote a poem about that experience and gave me permission to post it here on my blog for Poetry Friday.

Enjoy! And then head on over to Mainely Write for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.

Grave for a One-Week-Old Chick

With my hands I returned him to the soft earth,
a snug (if somewhat stifling) bed
of packed dirt,
topped with a twine-and-twig cross
and a bouquet of wildflowers.

I know it seems
but it was the least I could do
to make a decent grave.
I mean,
a plastic bag is such an ugly thing,
meant for holding the refuse
of an unfinished meal,
not the delicate, still-warm remains
of a wee baby chick.

He was shrunken in death,
feathers on one side matted
from the inconsiderate bustlings
of his loud and pushy wash bin-mates.
They must have sensed his frailty,
his exhaustion,
long ago,
and resigned him to his fate.
No mourning on their part,
no weeping
or gnashing of beaks.

The realism of the natural world is cruel,
but efficient.
And hope
is an inconvenience with which,
it appears,
only humans have been burdened.

(c) 2015 Samantha Gomez


  1. Really lovely. The photo goes with it nicely. Thank you for sharing this! Your daughter is an impressive young poet.

  2. A beautiful tribute to a brief life.

  3. "no weeping
    or gnashing of beaks"
    Great line! No, they just don't have the same grief system we have!
    Wonderful poem!

  4. Wow! I love your daughter's eulogy. She captures the "efficiency" of nature perfectly!

  5. Hi Becky. I haven't noticed you posting in the Poetry Friday roundup before. What a nice surprise! Clearly, writing talent runs in your family. I agree with Donna, "no weeping/or gnashing of beaks" IS a great line. And "a plastic bag is such an ugly thing." Agreed.

  6. The "gnashing of beaks" line is my favorite. Samantha really is talented, more so that I was at her age!

    I haven't done a Poetry Friday post in FOREVER, but I plan on joining the fun more regularly. Thanks for all the comments!


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