May/June 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 3 Nature’s Nature |

My Heart in Every Darkness

Have you ever been around guinea fowl? If not, you can trust me that they are in an elite group of creatures that are consistently louder than small children. Now that might be hard to believe if you happen to be near your kids as you begin reading this essay, but if you happen instead to be near a window with a small flock of guineas outside it, you won’t be in the least bit surprised. In fact, you probably won’t be able to pay attention to this next sentence for very long. Now we don’t keep guineas, but there are folks who love them — for their meat and eggs (when they can find them), for their capacious appetite for ticks, and just for their funny way of being in the world. They run everywhere, they scream almost nonstop when they are in the mood, and if they haven’t been well-trained from the beginning, they like to run away from home, or at least from our concept of home. Some neighbors of ours, about a half-mile across a field, sporadically keep guineas, and one

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Nathaniel Perry is the author of a book of poems, Nine Acres, (Copper Canyon, APR, 2011). He is the editor of the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review and lives in rural southside Virginia.

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Have you ever been around guinea fowl? If not, you can trust me that they are in an elite group of creatures that are consistently louder than small children. Now […]

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