Tag Archives: animals

Spent hens

My old buff hen sits the nest as if still young, her plump red comb signaling fecundity she no longer possesses, being nine, or decidedly geriatric in woman years, her last viable ovum having gathered yolk and dropped sweetly into her infundibulum long ago, no fanfare, quietly adding albumen, spinning slowly down the tunnel of […]

One shot

 

Digging the hen’s grave

on a day when I can, though barely, my own mortality implicated, excavated, spading through hardpan, carving space for the body she still inhabits, ┬átail down, but head up. Eyes bright; a shimmer of hackle feathers she will not molt. Secretly, I invoke fox, bobcat, hawk: You may come now; she can no longer run. […]

x-ray xray of hand

Unbecoming

  Suddenly I find it odd that my arms terminate in hands — these firm and meaty pads, the bony fingers extruded in opposition to the outliers, these peculiar thumbs. Who designed these naked anomalies, wrinkling and weathering with the years? Where are my clever paws, their dexterous beauty, their soft and ageless fur? A […]

Witnessing

Life leaves those you love at its own pace, in its own way: the brief violence of injury, the cataclysmic failure of brain or heart. Both to be preferred, you think now, to the implacable tick of illness, rogue cells propagating, occupying a vanishing vitality. After a time, you wish to find him dead, gone […]

Say sensible things

When animals talk to themselves they say only sensible things: the noun of threat or safety the noun of wind of sun of rain of snow of shelter and rest and warmth and many good verbs: eat drink fly swim run also ┬áplay the verbs purr and sing call and thrum and few but crucial […]

When it breaks

  When it breaks, may it break well for you. When grief stills your tongue, may it be consoled by a Hostess Ho Ho, a pale ale, a dry red or dark roast. By anything that comforts, may your silent tongue be comforted. When it breaks, may it break well for you. May your surviving […]

Witnessing

Life leaves those you love at its own pace, in its own way: the brief violence of injury, the cataclysmic failure of brain or heart. Both to be preferred, you think now, to the implacable tick of illness, rogue cells propagating, occupying a vanishing vitality. After a time, you wish to find him dead, gone […]

My life as an animal

I fell from the life of everything through warm, wet darkness, iron in my innocent mouth. I was born. Stood on spindly legs, nursed from the life of the world my first milk, its many protections. I was hers for awhile. Then my body changed, became larger. I moved on. Hungry, I ate. Thirsty, I […]

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, […]