Dust and Sun Bathing 101

I’d seen hens do it countless times
and roosters, too—
scratch out dusty nests in dirt.
Flop onto their sides.
Kick out clawed feet.
Prop their heads awkwardly.
Raise dirt by flapping wings.
Puff their feathers.
Take in slow, yellow heat.
Almost sleep.
So when the new chicks
lost their fuzz,
ventured from hutch into private run,
why was I surprised
they did the same?
No one taught them how
to clean themselves.
Love the sun.
Shame a human.


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