The chickens would not tend themselves. Her husband had insisted on them, moving her and the boys out of the city and into the country so they could have chickens, proselytizing the benefits of fresh eggs and meat. He knew how to prepare these thanks to his grandmother from the old country.
So far away from everyone else, though, hidden away in those smokey and forested mountains, he ceased blending his whiskey with soda, and by the fourteenth month was often too inebriated to escort the boys to school. Which left her in the long shadows of autumn to dream of other men and wonder what might have been. She would, occasionally, even pick up a glass to drink a bit of whiskey, imagining the farm as nothing but scorched earth. But those thoughts gave way to chores.
After all, the chickens would not tend themselves.