Hen Eggs


You can still preorder A Ranch Bordering the Salty River here: https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=2662

Hen Eggs
I wake up late in the morning, ten o’clock,

to the shouts of children in the living

room. I feel like sleeping more, but stir and robe
myself to stumble to the kitchen to pour

my first cup of coffee. The smell is rich

as bramble, but before I can sip into
lucidity the screams of my three-year-old 

grandchild and four of her friends headache me to 

shower where I wash away last night’s dream.
I dress and backpack and ready to tramp 

to the Wood to find the Myth, but my wife,

who is watching the kids, is called
by the capataz to come look at the cows,

so she asks me to babysit until she returns.

I never asked to be a grandfather, nor responsibly
a father, but here I am, married to a woman

I love, a widow, a mother whose daughter

has children: I am a grandfather by default.
We watch a Disney movie and sing and march

around the coffee table–I intervening when

their tags becomes shoves: I bore quickly.
My wife enters the back door and I bolt out

the front, not making three strides across the lawn

before she yells and asks that I start the asado
for her daughter and son-in-law who will arrive

in three hours. I glance at the mottled

trees at the edge of the wood, realizing how easy
it would be to just say ‘no’, to go to my real work,

myth finding, but I set my backpack down on a white

wooden bench and set fire to the kindling.
Four hours later, full of meats, wine, 

and exhaustion from bending over a grill,

I drink a double espresso and ready myself to hike
alone, restart my day, discover truths, but

my oldest grandchild grasps my hand and pleads

“please, take me to pool, show me chickens,
walk me,” her lake eyes large as sky.

I walk with her, show her the covered pool,

explain to her that it is too late in the year
to swim, too cold; Walk past the reddening 

lawn oak, take her to the hen house, find a fresh

egg still warm for her to carry back to her mother.
By Stephen Page
This poem first published in issue eight of Linden Avenue Literary Journal and is due to be published in A Ranch Bordering the Salty River by Finishing Line Press Leah Maines Christen Kincaid Elizabeth McCleavy Shay McCleavy Jennifer Winebrenner Bennington College Master of Fine Arts in Writing Detroit Free Press Buenos Aires Herald Mojo In The Morning

You can still preorder A Ranch Bordering the Salty River here: https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=2662

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