A friend asks what “karma” means. I am no
Authority on the subject but today a phrase
Came to mind: “when the chickens
Come home to roost.” That about sums it up
For me. All those years of overthinking.
The times I said, “No, not particularly”
To a reasonable offer to have fun in some new way.
The days I read too much. The gracious phone call
Which I failed to make. I get the idea: here they are
Now, settling their feathers, and cackling. But I am no farmer;
I googled to be sure: “depending on the breed, chickens
Will reach heights of about 10 feet and can span
Distances of just forty or fifty feet.” Karma? What roosts
Eventually and golly I guess never leaves.

Poems by Jonathan Bracker have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review, The Ravensperch, and other periodicals, and in eight collections, the latest of which, from Seven Kitchens Press, is Attending Junior High.