Wednesday, December 9, 2009

dead chicken/enormous hair

Winter wind has met us--cold and breaking the dusk and night sky with the knotted knuckle hand of a fierce whip cracker.

In the bust of cold that has draped itself over this fair Midwest state, one of our chickens took her last breath. K found her dead in the corner of the run yesterday evening. She picked up the lifeless hen and placed her in a plastic bag. Now, I need to dig a hole and bury her.

The ground is semi frozen—not deeply frozen yet, but for sure tougher to work than earth in August or September or October. I need some daylight hours to crack the shovel into a tuft of grass and turn it and lay the wee dead bird down in the soil.

In Savage Beauty—a bio of Edna St. Vincent Millay—the author tells the story of when Edna’s mother passed away in the depths of a frigid winter and they had to blast the side of the hill open with dynamite to get her body into the earth.

If only I had some dynamite to blow a hole in the backyard under the sleeping red bud and then rest our feathered friend in the December dirt.

However, I always arrive home from work when the light is fast fading from the sky, and I leave when the light has just arrived. So for now the chicken is in a bag in the red wheel barrel in the garage.

And, I am still up to similar shenanigans. Riding my bicycle, working, cooking, traveling around the usa when my toes get the tickle.

I’ve also been sporting some enormous hair lately. And while I know that the big hair has nothing to do with the dead chicken or how I pass time on a daily basis, it has something to do with hilarity. Hilarity is that dose of jolliness that I need sometimes to make it through these dark, winter days. How perfect that I simply have to look in the mirror at my own curly mess of hair to ignite that tin can echo laughter in the flabby parts of my belly.

I’m not really sad about the dead chicken; she lived a good, good life. We will go through less feed, now. I’m just a little nervous that she may have had some disease that will spread through the rest of the flock. I think this is not the case, but I have this tendency to make everything into something more convoluted than it really is.

But then I turn to my own head of hair and it shakes me back to a place with steady ground and more realness than those imagination disasters in the gray parts under my skull. Night scatters cold wind through the decaying leaves and frozen ground and a dead chicken stays put in the shelter of the garage and my heart leaps at the thought that tomorrow the sun will soar behind cloudy skies and I will trace the pattern of the days with the tips of my fingers and the prints of my hands will leave solid sections of stars across this time, this now. Each winter day will teach that lesson of patience to be, just be, and sour lipped laughter will abound at the reflection in the mirror.

1 comment:

la_sale_bete said...

That's too bad about your chicken, but I like the idea that big hair provides levity during the winter months.