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The silly chickens huddle in dismay.
Each shadow cast by falling leaves they take
to be a hawk descending on its prey.
They’re scared, while I’m just resting on my rake.
Today’s the stripping day, when in a blink
our postcard fall receives its fatal blow.
Some blame the southwest wind. I’d like to think
the leaves themselves know when to go.

And so the hens and I believe there’s more
to this world than meets the casual eye. A whiff
of wood smoke and the closing of a door;
I don’t know all that’s happening here—as if
a child’s still hiding in that pile of leaves,
or something’s perched up there, along the eaves.

—Robert W. Crawford