Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MISSING THE BO IN THE HENHOUSE, by HAYDEN CARRUTH

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MISSING THE BO IN THE HENHOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In here, caught by the storm. How the rain beats
Last Line: Commend me to the storm. Good night, good night
Subject(s): Chickens; Hens

In here, caught by the storm. How the rain beats
on the metal roof! And the hens peck at my feet,

these my ladies, their mournful pessimism, ayie,
ayie, ayo, and my boy whom I have loved -- how

shall I say it or sing it? -- more than myself,
more than my poems (that are myself),

more than the world (that is my poems),
ladies, these thirteen years, and now

he is turning, turning away. I know
we are "carried about the sun," about and about,

this conglomeration, a higgledy-piggledy
planet, incomprehensible, I could not

be part of it. And I am.
Carried. Desire long ago beaten out,

so that I wanted small things only, a song,
a boy. No, it will not cohere, this "world";

relentless the years and it will not. Mind
cannot make it. Ladies, do you know ever

what it means to be carried? Woe, ladies,
the boy is turning. A current runs on the grass.

And the dark falls early. Come now, up to your roost
and let the evening dance begin, the slow sarabande --

aft by fore, or aft by aft, which
shall it be? -- turning, turning in the cadence

of your song. Ayie, ayie, ayo. Slower
and slower. Good night, ladies,

in your hurtling house. The time of the mouse
has come, the rain strums on your roof.

Keep close and keep warm. Bless me if you are able,
commend me to the storm. Good night, good night.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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