I bet your loneliness
is nothing like the flashlight through the arch of trees,
the soft calling of each chicken’s name, one by one.
Their tired, silken clucks from deep within that other world;
the dull, broody hen who lets the darkness move around her.
The others, who love the moreish confection of voice into the empty space of coop,
into the boughs of cottonwoods holding their breath ‘til morning.
Their seeds collect at your feet
with stink bugs and robin scat
only the flashlight and the floor will know.
Then the horses move through the ley,
their heavy bodies bending thistle, pressing earth,
articulating snort and snit at the cull of sound.
The dry, sweet hay chirrs with the nudge of nose,
the resurrected fold of straw.
This is the way it is.
When the echoes in the eaves
lean and push into windows lit with longing
on either side.