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A morning pray - poem by Karen Chamisso



The perfection of the egg is to break just so

Otherwise, a rotting comes slo mo


Over its potential and its peepers

Which we can weep over, jeepers creepers.


For humans, for chickens, for sharks in the sea

All eggs must crack for future eggs to be.


Yet this is not how my eggs were broken

For breakfast in Decatur when I was a girl.


It was Leila, who with a firm abortionist’s tap

Could break egg and spill without the sap


Of the yolk being broke – it went into the bowl

Clean and without fragments of the shell


Which was always my awkwardness when I tried

Not that I was planning on cooking fried


Or scrambly, or making a cake.

I just wanted an egg to break.


 Leila’s job was as important as any other

Said no less an authority than my mother


(Mama was not like some of her friends

Who treated the help as means and not ends).


O Leila, from the bosom of your God above

Still my shaking morning fingers, and let me love


At least enough not to spill the vodka or tabasco

And in this magic potion spill the egg just so.