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Barren
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I found them the summer I was eight.
The nest took up the entire space inside the grill.
It was a deep crater–twigs and mud woven into the metal grates.
In the center were two blue eggs.
My mother told me they were robins’ eggs.

For weeks, I kept them over my night-light,
toilet paper tucked around them
wishing warmth from the tiny bulb would seep
through layers of mud and dried grass to those
blue eggs and the robins I knew were inside.

I would have waited all winter
for baby birds to burst from those shells.
Instead, my cousin broke the eggs open
just before Christmas.
Inside, the remains were caked to the sides of the shell,
dark spots of eye and wing
dried to a yellow-brown crust.

The doctor told me my eggs are just as dry,
all the fertile marrow sucked away
with endometriotic precision.
I hold my secret close,
my fingers cupped around my belly.
I press through layers of organ and warm blood,
touch ovaries, retreat.

– Kathryn Cody

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