The physics of rebirth

The cracked red barn births a clutch
of baby chicks. And this is his chore,
to scoop and spread feed for scratching
and plucking. Scoop and spread. Bored,
maybe, he wrestles three chicks into his hand.
He’s thinking of red capes and Superman’s
phone booth, the comics of the big city,
as he walks to the bag of feed
to bury them. He urges the newly‐
caved to use their appetite to escape. Perhaps
he believes they will. Then, he goes fishing.
The twilight comes and the others go on
clucking. The corn goes on willowing.
Tomorrow he’ll watch the bull mount
whatever cow is ready. It will be
his mother, a few days later,
who uncovers the silent beaks,
the bony tufts of down.