Oh, why should a hen
Have been run over
On West 4th Street
In the middle of summer?

She was a white hen
red-and-white now, of course.
How did she get there?
Where was she going?

Her wing feathers spread
Flat, flat in the tar,
All dirtied, and thin
As tissue paper.

A pigeon, yes,
Or an English sparrow,
Might meet such a fate,
But not that poor fowl.

Just now I went back
To look again.
I hadn’t dreamed it:
There is a hen

Turned into a quaint
Old country saying
Scribbled in chalk
(except for the beak).

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