When your parents came
to visit, outside the sliding
door window, pacing,

as if stretching
its non-existent calves,
was the neighbor's

chicken, walking in
circles on red brick,
pecking at the air

and the ground. I had
gone out in hopes of
catching it and escaping

from your mother's
pessimism and your
father's ramblings,

and, cornered against the
wall and the rose garden,
I thought I just

might have but it
had taken to flying,
barely, up the wall

and onto the neighbor's
roof, as if she'd
done it before

with wings much
bigger and more