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The Hen

Anne Hasenstab





The chemise has slipped

like cream on glass and

she looks displeased as if silk

could have behaved another way,

as if it could have defied

its own nature to slink,

to thieve a touch of shoulder,

nape or navel, exposing

the collar-boned mantle

upon which her head is cocked –

a chicken’s head, statuesque

upon its chopping block –

liberated of those impetuous limbs,

of talons poised to scratch

the budding calla lilies

shaped beneath her robe.

Bosom turned chicken feed,

or worse, candlelit dinner for two.

Protein to be forked and gnawed,

washed down with romantic quips

or swills of cheap Merlot.

Moment’s grief captured

by a lover’s lens, leaving behind

this bewildered hen

discovering her coveted breast.








Anne Hasenstab’s poetry has recently appeared in a handful of literary magazines including Sou’wester, The Naugatuck River Review, and The Avatar Review.  Anne is the Founding Editor of The Honey Land Review, an online journal of poetry and photography. She lives in Oregon, earned an MFA from Fairfield University and is currently working on her first poetry manuscript, Flock which presents a series of interconnected character studies throughout time.    

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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