ODE TO AN ABANDONED BLACK MOTHER HEN
Such a sunny morning surprise sitting in bright green grass,
A proud mother hen with tall back feathers, glossy, gleaming black,
Abandoned by hasty tenants while brooding to survive unattended,
Now with a scurrying family of seven baby chicks … white, blond,
Brindled blobs of fluff, peep-peep-peeping, tagging their mother,
Cluck-cluck-clucking, scratching dirt, pecking at grubs.
For two days her presentation prevailed in downpours and sunshine,
Little ones learning scrawny scratches and pecks, flapping tiny wings;
Then three chicks went missing, perhaps snatched by a hungry hawk…
A premonition that odds of babies without shelter
Was directed by wilder agents keen for self-survival.
The next morning the mother hen and other chicks were not found,
No long tail feathers, no dirty scramble, no cries in night-time terror…
What grabbed her proud protective body sheltering her brood underneath?
Was it a bobcat or coyote that carried her into the brush to be eaten?
Or, per chance, did the tenants return to recoup their missing birds
To restore them safely inside a coop with food, doors and roof for safety?
Either way, she lives because these words make her alive and appreciated,
And nature forgives within the folly of human’s careless abandonment.