All Things
by Jenny Bates

This year, everything seems to hang on the return of the Hummingbirds.

There have been neighborhood sightings. I think I heard…that small chitter

and squeak,

yet, none at the feeder.

          Last year, we named our first hummer, Hubble.
          She should come back, females are always first.

Once Hubble does arrive I will listen.

Stories of her travels, sadness and struggle.

As she sips the sugar water
I especially prepared.

Look up. I am still waiting for her return.

I’ll be silent amidst all death listening to her hum.

PHOTO: Hummingbird in the Rain by Coco Parisienne, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: All humans have learned about being human by what we have gained from observing our fellow animals. With a much longer history than humans, animals have learned not to accept, but to respect their differences. My poetry is based on this philosophy. I start with animal. To see the world through their eyes, and to understand it through their souls.

jenny bates

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenny Bates, born and raised in Michigan, is a poet from the foothills of North Carolina, and a member of Winston-Salem Writers, North Carolina, Poetry Society, North Carolina Writers Network. Her published books include Opening Doors: an equilog of poetry about Donkeys (Lulu Publishing, Raleigh, NC), Coyote with Coffee, a single poem fine craft volume (Catbird on the Yadkin Press, Tobaccoville, NC), and Visitations (Hermit Feathers Press, 2019). Her work has been published in Flying South, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Old Mountain Press, and Hermit Feathers Review. She is a consecutive contributing poet in Poetry in Plain Sight, and in 2017 she was a Top-10 Finalist in the Press 53 Single Poem Contest. Jenny’s poetry appeared in laJoie 2017-2019, a quarterly publication of Animals’ Peace Garden, dedicated to promoting appreciation for all beings. Her work also has been featured in Ought To Be Magazine, Poetry That Sustains Us, and Word Doodles Literary Magazine, 2020. In 2019, her poem “Fame Looks Both Ways” was included in the Walt Whitman Bicentennial Celebration for publication in Poets to Come. In 2021, her work was published in the inaugural issue of Self-Educating Poets Network, and her poem was First Prize winner in the “Love” Category in Pinesong, the premier journal of the North Carolina Poetry Society. In 2020, her latest book of poetry, Slip, was published by Hermit Feathers Press. In local circles, she is known as an animal whisperer to Donkeys, Coyotes and “Crow Folk.”