Elizabeth Bishop

(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

Trouvée - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

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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Read poems about / on: fate, summer, red, running, dream



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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