I came for the water late this morning
to find Cocky stretched in the dust by the digger.
As chickens go, he was lucky-
not to be predated as he became too feeble
to flustle (fly/bustle)
up to the life preserving height of the metal hurdle
to roost overnight.
He never made it into the shed trusses
the way his womenfolk do,
flustling from floor
to woodstack, to loft floor, to tie beam.
The Marans were lotted together at Dingwall market,
I bought him with two soft white hens
who lay beautiful chocolate brown eggs.
They learned how to find refuge in the roof
from the chooks already on site.
Cocky followed suit but only made it halfway-
which was enough to protect him as it happens.
The day he gave up on joining his females
on a higher level,
I found him disconsolate and dishevelled
with the chickens huddled close around him
before one by one they flew upwards.
He was never fit, just old I think,
limping and uncertain.
Two days ago the chooks closed round him again,
yesterday he stood alone by the gate.
The farm is poorer
for the loss of his music.