PIYP Day 2019: Jim Nason



by Jim Nason


When Rooster flew the Co-op
to explore the world on stilts, no one talked 
about the state of the nest he abandoned, the deathly 
smell of broken, featherless hens, the eggshells 
of prisoner grief that littered the floor-sod, rat pee 
and half eaten worms, the cold wind blowing 
through chicken wire.  The morning he left there was
a prophetic quiet among the usually chatty stars 
as they faded, distress and silence co-pillowed the hens.  
The stilts he made of broken shells, straw and hay, 
molded together with dust and the yoke of conquered hens
allowed him to navigate the snow that had fallen all night. 
The crisp air was an affirmation. The yard was still 
except for a restrained wind that filled the puncture marks 
of  his crossing.  What if there is no better life? 
Staring down the length of his new legs, Rooster 
had never been naïve and could already feel the biting 
cold of his freedom, his feet freezing like mice 
nibbling the claw tips of his toes.  Emptiness 
was the steepled house he carried on his wings, 
the enormous waking in his chest, sun rising 
in silence, his bent over shadow tilted 
against the glittery field. 


Previously published in Rooster, Dog, Crow (Frontenac House, 2018).

Download the League’s 2019 Poem in Your Pocket Day Booklet here.
Download this poem as a postcard, designed by Megan Fildes, here.

Share this poem on social media with the hashtag #PocketPoem.


JiNason’s sixth poetry collection, Rooster, Dog, Crow was recently released with Frontenac House.  He haalso published a short story collection The Girl on the Escalator and his third novel, Spirit of Hundred Thousand DeaAnimals, was recently published by Signature Editions. Jiis a Finalist for the 2018 ReLit Poetry Award.