Harvest by Ken Poyner

Six soldiers sit with their backs to the moon, looking like six chicken legs set out for this Sunday’s afternoon family reunion dinner. Six legs from chickens raised on this very farm; chickens that came when rhythmically called; chickens that received feed from the upturned, folded apron of the plaid family matriarch. Chickens that pulled at the ground, where the soldiers blindly sit, for gizzard stones; chickens who wearily chased insects on the land between the soldiers and the moon. And, in the coming morning the rooster will tiredly climb the speckled fence outside of the chicken coop and say, “Oh my sisters, three more have gone.” And only now, the soldiers—who are not above simple chicken thievery—notice by moonlight the chicken yard, the yowling hint of a coop. And they believe in feathers.

Ken Poyner’s latest collection of brief fictions, Constant Animals, can be located through links at www.kpoyner.com, or at www.amazon.com. He has had recent work out in Analog, Asimov’s, Poet Lore, and at several other places, both print and web. He has one wife, four cats, and two fish. What else can you want?