by Elisavietta Ritchie


To feed her new lover
oeuf a` la coque
with a rose in its mouth...

At a long ago breakfast
my father explained to my lover
the symbolism of eggs

"Fertility, hope, and perfection.
In gilded domes atop Russian churches
the Holy Trinity rolled into one."

What if, when the bells ring so hard
at midnight on Easter,
gold cupolas hatched into mystical roosters...

My father, ill and en route
to that perfect elliptical void,
has trouble spooning his morning egg.

Yet how much he could tell
of the liquid ovoid of loving,
fragile shells.

Still, today he bequeaths
to his waiting granddaughter
perfection, fertility, hope,

a remembered triad embedded
in two speckled X Large eggs
with golden yolks.

-from The Arc of the Storm (Signal Books). Originally appeared in New York Quarterly.