For Alice

Cheryl Achterberg

I once had a love
Clear and true as the
Best soprano.

Alice happy
To just breathe
Beside me.

I drove her away. 
She full of joy,
She wouldn’t go.

She ran to greet me,
Sang in the garden,
So pleased with life,

Her small round eyes
Wide open,

Alice was a chicken.
Sometimes I feel her,
Looking through my eyes

Taking in the world  
As it is and then
Feeling goes away

Leaves me as I am,
Wishing I were good
As that chicken.

Cheryl Achterberg writes personal essays after a career as a nutrition educator and academic leader. Her work has appeared in Brevity Nonfiction BlogThe Wall Street JournalNutrition Today and the Columbus Dispatch with forthcoming in Oh Reader and Changes in Life. This is her first published poem. Find her online at or on Twitter @dr_achterberg.

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