A quarter mile past the McDonalds, past
laundromat and bowling alley, the road turns
onto a side street. At first, trailers and brush cluster
between hardwood trees, then the rolling
green hills dot with black cows,
gives way to the farm built in to a curve of
the highway. They park haphazard
around a black barn strewn
with rusted tin and old sheet aluminium.

They enter through its wooden doors.
Some remove coats and hang them
over a half-wall fence that sits near the pens
four foot lengths of tobacco sticks, 
piled sharp ends. One of them, she
who works down at the bread factory, lights
a cigarette. “I’m in, after I smoke.”

Some of them look the birds over,
their delicate necks and sharp curving beaks.

The woman from the factory walks
a green-tailed animal into the circle,
knuckles dusted. Flicks cigarette butt
onto the dirt in one quick motion.

The others lean quietly against old barn, 
its splintered walls, but as the flapping
and noise loudens, the others move in,

closer and closer and closer.