Under a cherry tree I found a robin’s egg, broken, but not shattered. I had been thinking of you, and was kneeling in the grass among fallen blossoms when I saw it: a blue scrap, a delicate toy, as light as confetti It didn’t seem real, but nature will do such things from time to time. I looked inside: it was glistening, hollow, a perfect shell except for the missing crown, which made it possible to look inside. What had been there is gone now and lives in my heart where, periodically, it opens up its wings, tearing me apart.
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From The Afterimage, 1996
Copper Beech Press, Providence, RI
Copyright 1996 by Phillis Levin.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Copper Beech Press from The Afterimage, 1996. Copyright 1996 by Phillis Levin. For further permissions information, contact Copper Beech Press, P.O. Box 2578, Providence, RI 02906.
Phillis Levin (1954- ) is the author of four poetry collections, including May Day (Penguin, 2008). She also served as editor for The Penguin Book of the Sonnet (2001) and teaches at Hofstra University.