Tuesday, December 13, 2011


[Our favorite Chicken Farmer Poet in Residence is taking stock, & not chicken stock neither!  Another delightful dead-serious/comic romp with L.E. Leone!]


Then it was time to stand back and take stock of my life. I had reached "the age." So I did, I stood back and took stock. I went outside, at night, in just a shabby sleeping gown, and stood on the sidewalk. If anyone asked, I would say that I was taking stock. Of my life!

A street person walked past. His face, set deep inside his oversized hood, was darker than night itself. In fact, he might have been death. “Aren’t you the one keeps chickens in an old RV?” he said, without even stopping to hear my answer—which would have been that I was not, I was the one who was taking stock of her life at three in the morning, in a shabby gown.

For distance I went to Paris, France. I don't speak French. My first morning there I met a fellow American who said, "Have you been to Paris before? This is my third time, although: it's the first time I’m spending real time here. The first two times I was more like passing through, touring Europe and such. But Paris is the one city in the world I always want to come back to. Except in winter." And he gave me a look that said, I know you know.

“Me,” I said, “I'm taking stock.”

“I think I understand,” he said.

“You do?”

“I think so,” he said.

For distance, I came back home.

L.E. Leone
© 2011


  1. This cracked me up:

    His face, set deep inside his oversized hood, was darker than night itself. In fact, he might have been death.

    Can't take stock without the thought of death. I like how part of taking stock in this poem seems to be a search for the right perspective to do it from (whatever "taking stock" actually means, when you think about it). You could see it as an activity of fixed duration, taking place during a pause in life, when you're sort of stepping outside of yourself and your routines... but life never pauses so it seems that all of life is taking stock, minute after minute.

  2. There are some very funny lines--I liked that particular one myself. The whole send-up of taking stock--& you're right, taking stock in the poem's terms seems focused on place--is a wonderful mixture of comedy & seriousness.


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