Baby chicks, light as air,
all fluff, bright eyes and a peep,
carried home in a cardboard box
with hope, smiles and anticipation.
You were so fragile then,
needing a light to warm and comfort,
prey to almost everything that prowled,
completely without defense;
I kept vigilant watch,
guarding you from drafts and dangers,
giving you clean water, feed
and a warm bed of clean straw.
Fluff turned to feathers
as you put on the colors of your breeds,
black and white, grey, brown, black or red;
your clucking comments blessing me
with gentle company in the garden and the barn.
Now that we have become a family,
all of you and I, living here together,
I find in the nest this morning
miniature eggs in hues of cream and brown,
the first fruits of the laying season
and a fitting welcome to the cooler
days of Autumn now upon us.