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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 173 words
By Claire Weiner

Chickens and Eggs

Like the stool she perches on at the outdoor 
market, the egg lady’s face is weathered. But 
her farm-fresh eggs nestle neatly 
into hollows of assorted cartons. 
She explains, 
	I call my hens by their names. 
	Each and every one of my girls. 

I buy two dozen, twice what I need. 


Retired, my grandfather, an immigrant tailor 
from Poland, bought a poultry farm in California. 
Longing for light after a lifetime of stitching in half-light, 
he too loved his hens, named them—
	Golda, Shayna, Chana. 

Each one named for someone left behind. 


Frank lived next door to us with Fannie and their three 
sons. Every morning he drove to his poultry shop where 
he and his brother killed chickens all day—the kosher way. 
Friday mornings, my mother would call across 
the path, 
	Frank, bring home a sweet girl for me. Oh, and a nice dozen. 

At the end of the day, Frank stepped into our kitchen with blood-
spattered apron, delivered a package to our kitchen counter. Still warm. 

Claire Weiner
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is the author of a poetry chapbook, For a Chance to Walk on Streets of Gold (Finishing Line Press, 2024). Her work has been published in After Hours Press, Burningwood Literary Journal, Michigan Jewish History, Peninsula Poets, and others. She spent her non-writing career as a clinical social worker helping people make more sense of their life stories. She splits her time between Ann Arbor and Tucson, grateful to be surrounded by natural beauty in both places.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Aubade at Masada, 1973, a poem by Claire Weiner in Michigan Jewish History (Volume 63, Summer 2023), the journal of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Ode to My Husband’s Hearing Aids, a poem by Claire Weiner at Hoffman Center for the Arts: Community Writes

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