Cage Free

21 Feb

All the good ones are taken,
placed warm
into calico lined baskets
from fresh birth into the sweet nut straw
of Spring.
Floating high,
they ride on the crooks of smooth skinned arms
as in tiny gondola
to kitchens brimful
of morning beams and May wind.

The good ones are deep,
rich yolked
like an aged orange sun,
rising huge and silent from the far edge
of the landscape of a woman’s dreams,
staining her life,
sticking to the bottom of the plates so long
she wonders how
they were never not there before.

And she is gentle with them,
because she knows her way around a kitchen.
For blush brown shell can be cracked so easily,
or left to spoil on a neglected counter;
they won’t be kept.

The good ones must be nested,
preventing precipitous drops
from hasty words or whipping
the daily pot absent mindedly onto a hot eye
for a non descript soft coddle
in the pre-dawn light.

The perfect ones
are smooth, imperceptibly pebbled
with intricacies so lovely
a finger’s rub over their smooth slopes
proclaims witness to an orb.

However.

I wonder.

How could this have been made?
How could such tenacity and fragility be born
from a thing which no longer flies
but roosts like a perpetual tenant
in the heart?

The good ones have all been
laid, taken, nested, cracked, scrambled, fried, boiled, and blended
and my basket still wants
for the rounded weight
of promises.

For the ones that are left
are thin skinned or misshapen,
a bin of ordinary sterile domes.
Perhaps hairline cracks have let what good
was inside seep through to stick shells to the carton
in which they were shuffled on to me.
Extracting them? Tedious.
All held breath and then,
regret.

Or maybe they’ve simply sat
and become rancid,
a sulfurous promise
only revealed upon use.

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