Living Too Long

“. . . we learned the cost of attachment.”

David Sloan, a poet from Maine, captures aging and frustration in this poem about chickens.  There’s a great interview with David on The Houseboat — a blog I highly recommend, that has an eclectic assortment of artists and poets.  Read the interview about his writing process here.


Some nights I feel I’ve lived too long,
when the moon’s a squint-eyed mute,

oak branches turn fish bones,
and the wind’s a whimper.

I hobble out to the shed, our old chicken
coop.  How you’d loved those hens,

made the mistake of naming them —
Blackie, Maude, the rest.  We never figured

out how the owl got in, but we learned
the cost of attachment.  The path I cleared

through the woods is overgrown now,
so I lean against the maples in the yard.

How many more tattered moons
will seek me out?  You embrace this waning,

but I can’t find a way to love the less.
You said, Yes, we lose leaves, but we gain sky.

I say, Give me back my legs.  Let me
scale this tree, turn panther, pounce

on an owl under a hatching moon,
pillow the night with a fury of feathers.

– David Sloan
from his book The Irresistible In-Between

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