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A Hundred Gourds 4:2 March 2015

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Mary Frederick Ahearn - USA


A Few Small Lives


It's almost noon on another hot, humid July day when we pull into the gas station to fill up. Waiting, I absentmindedly look out onto the busy intersection and see a transport truck loaded high with crates of chickens. Crammed tightly together, their feathers poking out of the cages, the frightened birds huddle defenseless against the dirt and heat of the noisy highway. Some seem to be trying to hide their heads under a wing, their own, another bird's, anything.

The light changes and the truck slowly moves on. The crates shift and then settle. A few feathers float freely up into the white air.

summer ends
one after another
leaves falling face down



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