The riddle was meant to be droll:
why did the chicken cross the road?
Answer: to get to the other side.
This morning I think it not funny ha-ha,
not even yuk-yuk, groan.
Certainly tired and old, older than
the white chicken
beside the red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater or
the little chicken under a falling sky;
almost as old as the proverbial
chicken running without a head.
The road was there, that’s all.
Shining heat mirages or dark from rain
like any road, it went
back, forth, and had two sides:
the one you were on and the other one
not so very different, but over there–
maybe more berries on its bush
left by someone chickening out
or escaping rumors of impending rot–
just the next thing, a thing
not of the head but in the feet:
seeking after, seeking being sought.