I usually awake about 6 a.m. I lie there and listen to the chickens.
You likely do not know that chickens — the women chickens, I believe — have a morning sound. It is not the cluck-cluck they make, say, at midday while eating corn. It is a strange, creepy call I cannot put into words.
The women chickens — hens — do this from the neighbors’ tree, which abuts our property wall. The rooster’s call is different, and it comes closer to dawn, mostly. You can never predict chickens with precision.
When a neighbor dies, the church bell gongs softly all night at intervals of 10 seconds or so. The church is a block and a half distant.
Night before last, I awoke to the complete concert.
Chickens and death.