Spring in Abernathy Coal Camp
A hen squats in the shadow
of my hand, raises tail feathers,
mistaking me for the rooster
I held to the block last night.
Next door, just moved in, a woman picks
at the overburden. A boy, almost old enough
for the mine, speaks Russian to her from the back porch—
his legs severed clean at the knee by the stoop's shadow,
the shadow from her hat brim lifting from a veil
into a blindfold as she raises her head.
A hawk circles the house rows, suspends
in an updraft, swoops down, its shadow a mirage of rich soil.