After the Flood [poem]

No forty nights and forty days this rain:
a few roads briefly flooded, the neighbor’s
basement, perhaps. Our yard is like a sponge,
but that, alas, is chronic, nothing new.
The only standing water to be found
serenely lies in bowls carved in the clay
by our four hens in drier days, when all
was dust and they could safely bathe in it.
Now they scratch knee-deep in brick-red mud,
their petticoats besmirched and draggled,
splashing as though apprenticed to be ducks,
but do not swim, or take much joy in it.
It rains, it dries, the faithful chickens lay,
as day succeeds each night, and night each day.


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