The Broody Hen

broodyagain buff orpington cityframgirl blog

I wrote this poem about six years ago; it appears in my book Reconnaissance.

The Broody Hen


“You can identify a broody hen by her Zen-like gaze and deep, wary settling into the nest.”   Mother Earth News





Born with her back to sin,

oblivious to turbulence,

the Buff Orpington’s gone broody.

She’s for warming those eggs, all of them.

She dreams of hatching them, raising them,

protecting them, teaching them to find food.


She mutters, growls when approached,

leaves the nest once a day

to eat and defecate.

She’ll sit on everyone else’s eggs too, but

she won’t lay anymore herself

while brooding.


Some hens insist on being broody,

persistently broody.

She’s one who won’t quit brooding.


She fluffs out her peachy camel feathers

on a near permanent basis

in order to raise her body temperature

to incubate all eggs all the time,

to keep the chicks warm.


She peers at the farmer from the corner of her eye

suspicious, ready to attack,

huge, fluffy, formidable.





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Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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