Steve Scafidi

The Egg Suckers

To the snakes and the rats and the weasels
who skulk and tunnel and dig underneath
the moon and the earth to find the shiny
white ovum of their dreams laying there
warmed under the hen who coughs a little
moving away in the darkness of the gold
hay and the dust of my chicken coop
I say hello now from about fifty feet away
in my writing room at the beginning of Spring
for you are the egg suckers, the midnight
takers-away, the despised and slinky
snoopers, the geniuses of the world who
will be here when we are no more–
you who move with such deliberation,
what you want eventually you get, hauling
the precious cargo gently between your jaws
moving back down through the hole you dug
cradling the egg, tonguing and sucking on
the white egg I was to gather and I was
to eat and the poor hen with her one
eye wide open watches you come and go
as she watches me reach my hand beneath her
in the morning and hold this small compact
beautiful form up to the sun to admire
the subtle brown of the egg and the perfect
religious fit of it in my palm and I roll it
across my kitchen table in the morning
before I crack it open and pour the egg
into my skillet and fry it openly thanking
the holiness of the hen, this exotic bird
roosting here whose children I eat everyday
over-easy with black pepper and a spoon.

Steve Scafidi
The Egg Suckers first appeared in Shenandoah, Spring 2005.
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Steve Scafidi
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse