The Black Hen

When I was a little boy,
I knew no fear.

The Universe was my future home,
a place full of stones to turn over,
confident to find either a nut of gold
or, should Fortune be deaf and blind,
at least an ant to enroll and train
for the next deep-space mission.

The Black Hen changed all that.
She was standing on a wooden box,
her head tilted a bit to one side,
her black eye level with mine.

I ran by and froze in mid-step,
heels gripping the ground.

Our eyes locked!
Our minds followed!

We studied each other across
the chasm of a couple of palms.
Mocking and self-confident,
She raised the Arms
and challenged me to Fight.
We became winkless soldiers
engaged in a Battle of Minds
waged in the primordial space
between two Alien eyes.
Fathoming the bottomless well,
I saw my Mene Tekel written
over a dark entrance to Hell.
The Universe was at stake
and the bird knew it well!

What if She new Everything ?!
Slowly, panic filled my heart.
I shrieked, broke the contact,
fled under my mother's gown.

But I knew better than to feel safe.
The Black Hen would never give up!
Inevitably, we would meet again
and there would be nowhere to run.

I was no longer a little boy!
Stan Sýkora, Arese 1996
It really happened that way.
There must be many ways how small boys and girls stop being small.
Maybe   if I knew all of them, I would be wise.
Maybe   if we knew all of them, there would be no wars.
Maybe   the National Research Councils of the World should unite to study these matters and stop wasting time with XYZ baryons and the like.
Maybe   ...
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Copyright ©2004 Stanislav Sykora    DOI: 10.3247/elcl09.026 Designed by Stan Sýkora