After the Foxes

A light breeze carries echoes of our
screams across the Valley. Mum wanders
back into the barn, checking her headcount.

When I came out with the feed
this morning there were twelve. I replay
the scene as the wind scatters pillow-fight
remains in the grass. It was a sloppy getaway
of amateurs and first-timers;
children daring in the daylight under our feet.

The count comes up short, with two more
being put down. I ease
into the barn,

hearing the anxious gossip of hens, recalling
battles fought and lost. I gather
three eggs from an abandoned

corner, tuck
them under a sitting hen. She raises her head
count, and I have not yet the heart

to tell her of the long tails, and the men
who gave their lives for her house;
sacrificing themselves from the tallest of bales.

As I walk home, I pick up every tinted feather
I can find – so clean I should sell them to the fly-tyers –
and stuff them into a jar.
In the morning, there will be crows.

Maya Victoria Clubine

Maya Victoria Clubine is an emerging writer based in Montréal, QC. She studied English Literature at the University of Waterloo, where she won the Albert Shaw Poetry Prize and the English Society Creative Writing for Poetry Award. She is an MFA candidate at the University of St. Thomas, Houston. She was recently published at Bywords and The Literary Review of Canada (forthcoming).