Winter 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1965 |

Fred’s Case

To Ed McClanahan Where others have a thing for wrens, grosbeaks And orioles, with Fred it's nighttime hens. No choice, he says, at all. Says that it seems As if mean down, pinfeathers, and the moon, Catching his father's eye once moved for him—Even his Bantam pet kicked at the stars. Says as far west as Salem, Oregon, He drew the night shift with the hybrid best White Leghorn layers ever loved an egg. Like Edison they barely needed sleep, Labored by light bulbs, too, around the clock Until the henhouse burst and special trucks Delivered them at last into the dark. And swears, in Delaware (below New York), He wobbled on his own wishbone each night, Counting out tons of pullets, crate on crate Topped for the toll roads behind chopped headlights. Fred's on the move again and sometimes writes That no one really likes domestic life. It's too unnatural. He wants to rise Himself, he says, at dawn, a wildfowl man Watching the wings that used to beat back East, Dazzled the plains b

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