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 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).

Poem by Elizabeth Bishop
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