“The egg was blue”

The egg was blue,
broke on the sidewalk.
A worm crawled through
and the ants were on him.
Then, a crow came down
and pecked at the ants,
the worm, and whatever
remained of the bird.
It seemed everyone
was getting their piece
and suffering in the process.
A cat came along, crouched—
and the crow took off, cawing.
I chased off that cat,
stomping my big brown boots
toward it. Then I looked up
in the drizzling bright sky
and thought about what it all meant.

Nature is not kind. Neither is man.
So the whole thing about man
being made from God’s image—
it checked out that day, alright.

The egg was blue
and I picked it up,
cradling it in my palm;
Such a beautiful, fragile artifact
of such a cold, cruel world.
I took it home, put it out
on the kitchen table at dinner time,
to tell my family all about
what I saw that day.

My father swept it up,
threw it in the trash,
and washed his hands, silent.

“What are you doing,” he asked—
seizing his big hand around my arm;
Heaving me up from the heavy chair
and yanking me until my hands
were in the sink, scrubbing.
“Those things carry disease.”
He was right, but I still cried—
wiping my eyes in the ivory soap.
I couldn’t explain anymore—
all I wanted to, about the world.

I’d rescued it, only to see it meet its fate
on top a pile of gray potato skin peels;
The beautiful blue egg, broke and crushed.
If there were a Father in Heaven, I thought—
he’d have understood what I was trying to do;
But my father, standing behind me,
in the bathroom, would not listen.

"HOT WATER," he scolded,
while my tiny pink fingers scalded.

narrative poem written on 04-01-2011 by: on mattkane.com
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