In praise of chickens

Loisa Fenichell


I spoke once of a farm at night. How it twinkled from its clearing in the woods like a heaven-sent dream. There’s so much more I could tell you. That I was in love with the chickens would be an understatement. That the morning I threw one of their carcasses into the woods, the world felt like a sham. It might be true that loneliness precludes adoration. I could tell you I was lonely, but still, I loved: how their feathers rustled like blue stars; how they came to me, one by one, offered up their eggs as though they believed me to be their mother. Now when I look into the mirror, I see a large hen; heavy bone; wishes I’ve always been too afraid to make. It wouldn’t be a lie were I to tell you that I never want you to look at me in such a way. I want you to see the beauty of ink-splotched nights. The soft gazes of those people who stare into the sky, in wait for a breezy thunderstorm or a kind child. You might see the thoughts of the chickens imprinted across my forehead. Still, you will look at me tenderly. I will think of my sore legs squatting in the fields. Maybe I will exhale like an instrument. But I promise you I will love.


Loisa Fenichell’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, all these urban fields, was published by nothing to say press. She will be an MFA candidate at Columbia University come Fall of 2021.