When I was a little boy,
I knew no fear.
The Universe was my future home,
a place full of stones to turn over,
confident to find either a nut of gold
or, should Fortune be deaf and blind,
at least an ant to enroll and train
for the next deep-space mission.
The Black Hen changed all that.
She was standing on a wooden box,
her head tilted a bit to one side,
her black eye level with mine.
I ran by and froze in mid-step,
heels gripping the ground.
Our eyes locked!
Our minds followed!
We studied each other across
the chasm of a couple of palms.
Mocking and self-confident,
She raised the Arms
and challenged me to Fight.
We became winkless soldiers
engaged in a Battle of Minds
waged in the primordial space
between two Alien eyes.
Fathoming the bottomless well,
I saw my Mene Tekel written
over a dark entrance to Hell.
The Universe was at stake
and the bird knew it well!
What if She new Everything ?!
Slowly, panic filled my heart.
I shrieked, broke the contact,
fled under my mother's gown.
But I knew better than to feel safe.
The Black Hen would never give up!
Inevitably, we would meet again
and there would be nowhere to run.
I was no longer a little boy!
Stan Sýkora, Arese 1996