on mothers not of us

She is gone, but I remember this little white hen who mothered me

and anyone else who crossed her paths.

Part affection, part control, part good neighbor, part good scold, and all of this besides:

being present, paying attention, weighing in, and having her say.


While here on this earthly pathway, mothers have stood in every gap,

humans three, and the rest uncounted.

Part awakened, part asleep, part within us, part too steep, and all of this besides:

being lonely, feeling lost, losing all and winning some, walking on.


It’s a mother’s kind of day, and, as ever, I miss you every one,

but on this particular morning?

I especially miss this little white hen.