Mara and the Hen
The hen pecks at the dust,
it pecks at a rock,
there is nothing to eat, she’s the last one left.
Mara yells at her, do something useful with yourself.
The hen stares back, what else should I do?
Mara draws green water up 
from the well, heavy with sludge.
She no longer boils it, waits 
for it to settle.
 
Clouds form, pass by, taking their rain
somewhere else.
She has watched everything dry up and die
waiting to dry up and die
but she keeps going, 
cracking the stale grains between her teeth.
 
She thinks of her children whose souls 
have gone elsewhere.
She always thought they would come back
lightened of their bodies
and play in the yard.
They never came.
She thinks of the child growing inside her
floating in a tub of murky water
eyes closed, tail of a fish.
It will not live long.
There will be no milk, like with the others,
only a few drops of blood
bitter, dripping from her nipples.
 
A few months ago she loved a man
who got drunk on vodka 
made from tomato paste thick as dried blood
then shot her chickens one by one,
all but the last hen
who has nothing to eat and will not lay eggs.
Stop! she yells at the hen, there’s nothing
left here! She sees the new baby
pecking at her dry breast,
its small mouth opening
and closing, opening.
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