Gertrude Mother Nature's warped imagination left aches and loneliness within her breast. No babes to mother into life. Soulful eyes drooped to emptiness in her nest. Poor Gertrude, born to birth but forever barren, alien, unlike all the rest. Fate countered by a miracle of beagle birth abandoned, swelling her breast. Mother Hen to the rescue filled with coos, contentment and overflowing love, eternal. Happy Gertrude has puppychicks now. As if borne from her breast like all the rest. -Marilyn Paluszak
Republished by Marilyn Paluszak from a poem originally written in 1988 and edited in 2011 (thanks to Ted Kooser’s hints in The Poetry Home Repair Manual.
Inspiration came from a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! item published in the (Albany, NY) Sunday Times Union, December 4, 1988.
“Gertrude,” owned by Ken Hatch of Alpena, Michigan, had never laid a single egg, but when seven beagle puppies were abandoned by their mother, she adopted them and at long last became a Mother Hen.