All will be well

My little black hen trails me,
agitated by tectonic shifts
in her young body:
ova gathering, releasing,
moving through the
dark tunnel of her maturity.

She has laid two eggs;
still, the strange sensations
trouble her. And why not?
It is hard to lose
your childhood, the first
and least consolable grief.

I cradle her, stroke
her glossy feathers smooth
against the rough world,
speak softly.

I do not tell her
she will lay hundreds of
eggs, never hatch
a chick.

I do not tell her
how science has
engineered her function.
How humans are.

It is nearly
too much to bear
as it is, so

I hold her, stroke
her flawless feathers,
feel her relax, soothed.
Speak softly, saying

— because it is
always true and never
in the lives
of grown-up things —

All will be well.
All will be well.
All will be well.



  1. slukwago · · Reply

    What a beautiful picture you paint, Rafiki.
    All will be well.
    All is well


    1. Thanks, Rafiki! A minister I know is fond of saying: All will be well. Just not yet. πŸ™‚


  2. It is so true, how ‘growing up’ is such a rude awakening. You’ve captured it so well. … You will appreciate this – we just got a new kitty. Haven’t even named her yet. A rescue, 3.5 months old from a farm. Bonkers. Our other ‘kitty’, a black, sturdy, fourteen pound male is afraid of her. πŸ™‚ Stay well. -Russ


    1. You, too, Russ. And congratulations to you and the new addition! May you share many happy years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Cate – such compassion! You have just kick-started my day – to attend to others’ “tectonic shifts” making them jittery – cannot stop others’ inner stirrings but I can stroke their “feathers”. Please give your hen a stroke of gratitude. Love those black feathers!


    1. Thanks, Jazz. I appreciate your response, and will certainly pass along the compliment. This little girl — Artie — is quite affectionate, and flew onto my shoulder and then my head today while I was trying to syringe medication down another youngster’s beak. After that fun riot, I medicated myself with beer. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have most certainly stoked my feathers, akimbo and askew. Forever Grateful.


    1. So glad to be with you. And … all will be well, Sis.


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