Before Dawn We Rise

Twin Turkeys
Turkeys on Stairs
A Narragansett and a Grey Slate turkey twinning up.
Turkeys are very social and love to come a-calling.

Before Dawn We Rise
by Jacqueline & Joseph Freeman

Before dawn we rise. The young turkeys first.
Little peeps, then, as the door opens, voluminous wings
and a tide of bubbling water sounds greet the morning.

Loving creatures in our care
set the tempo of our day,
easing us from healing slumber
to the eager joy of food and cool water.

Next broody hens and baby chicks,
all scuttling to the crumble,
mama calling chut-chut-chut
as hungry chicks crowd round and in the tray.
A bold chick chases a grasshopper through tall grass.

Life moving, stretching, reaching,
each being finding that next first thing.

I love opening the coop door. We approach to
errrr-maup-maup-maup, then, hearing our steps, silence.
We unlatch the tall door. A roaring flurry of hens in air,
then brief hush of flight.

While hens eat roosters court, finding advantage
in distraction, dragging one wing in a seductive tango,
scaly claw tap-tap-tapping and jumping aboard
for a 3 second tryst.

The drowsy awakening of bees on the hive doorstep,
tasting air and elementals.

The mist behind the trees stretches
the distance as the sun
picks up damp grass, filling the valley with diamonds.

Our cows, sweetly lowing, the ungainly gallop
toward a bucket of apples swinging in our hands.
A thousand pounds, crunching, belching,
slobbering our shirts and jeans,
long blue tongue around green apples.

With unconscious stealth they temper our thoughts
and color our day, setting the easy pace,
reflection living in each breath.

We gather up the leaping dog, our pensive cats
perch on fence posts, hungry like us for morning.

Joseph: (whistles Norwegian Wood)

And lastly, at dusk, before closing the door
we count the turkeys roosting high on the bar.
My husband whistles a lullaby and they croon and burble back,
a soothing weaving of calm, the closing of the day.

(Oh, look at how big you grew today. Your feathers are so bright.
Oh, you have new white feathers under your wings!
And look at you, all cozied in for the night.
Sleep well my little ones. See you in the morning.)

copyright 2007