Fox in snow

Why We Have Chickens

By Rob Carney

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Old Roads, New Stories: A Literary Series

Why We Have Chickens

Not because they’re sexy.
But they sure do a good job

of luring the foxes: nose-first
and slender

with a streak of orange attitude, a spark;
they show us how to come out of hiding.

What are those teeth for? Biting.
And that tail? To say yesterday

is coming up behind you;
it’ll steal away now

if you don’t act quick,
so be quick.

the air is waiting,

and the night
can hear its own heartbeat.

Time now to bring things together, feathers
flying… new snow on the ground.




Rob CarneyRob Carney’s new book Facts and Figures is available from Hoot ‘n’ Waddle. Previous books include The Book of Sharks and 88 Maps. His first collection of creative nonfiction, Accidental Gardens, is forthcoming from Stormbird Press.
Read Rob Carney’s Letter to America in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, published by and Trinity University Press.
Read poetry by Rob Carney appearing in 6th Annual Contest Finalist, 4th Annual Contest Winner, and Issue 30. And listen to an interview on Montana Public Radio about The Book of Sharks.

Header photo by Marcin Perkowski, courtesy Shutterstock. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.