Andrew Oerke
Brooder Hen

Buff-Orpington, russet-shaded feather-duster
with rat-a-tat beak and industrious claws
scratching up a dust-flak to teach her chicks
how to grub in the gravel for food.
She has a highly successful Survival I.Q.

Wings strutted far out n down, this fluffy queen
rustles her chicks into the feathery vault
under her stilt-legs and settles in dust
around her tiny peep-peepers.  She knows the laws
of motherhood.  She knows how to hollow down twigs
n straw to the dent of a nest for her brood.
She's fat, dumb n happy as Survival itself.

Graphic: T. Allen Lawson
"Buff-Orpington, Pecking"
Click for larger image.