I Buried My Friend Today
I buried my friend today.
It is the kind of day that makes you glad you are alive.
Blue skies with high, bright white clouds.
an exuberance of color and scents.
I knew it was only a matter of time.
I held her, stroking her soft feathers.
I fed her blueberries from my hand.
I told her she was a good friend.
I wanted her to know she was not alone.
I wanted her to know she was loved.
I wanted her to know she brought joy
with her sweet, chicken ways,
the way she would run to me whenever she heard the door open,
the way she would squat, waiting to be petted,
the way she would leap high into the air to reach
the berries or the figs.
I whispered that it’s ok.
She can go when she’s ready.
I leave her so she won’t hold on for me.
When the hole is ready, I go and check on her.
She is gone.
Her eyes, slightly open
let me know that at the last,
she opened them to see the birds overhead,
the sun, the sky and the clouds.
Putting the dirt over her soft red feathers
I am reminded how much she loved to
roll in the dirt.
But this part is hard.
I cry as I cover her.
I think, is this silly?
She was just a chicken.
But that’s only partly true.
She was a friend.
She was joy and love wearing a suit of feathers.
It is right to honor her this way.
Her life was a gift to me.
She deserves the tears I shed.
I plant hyacinths and daffodils
over her sweet, still body.
When they bloom next spring,
I will smile with the memory of my little friend —
a chicken named Hyacinth.