That Night Mother Had No Egg

I remember with a child's mind stealing
An egg, hoping through prayers I wouldn't be
Found out. When at teatime I felt deeply
Ashamed — didn't look at mother biting

Her bottom lip, pushing her plate around
And around -'keep shtum' Is all that I thought?
Then that night — I worried around the clock.
This egg would it hatch. Later …afterthoughts

I thought not. But daily …I snuck into the boiler
Cupboard like an overdue expecting
Father, but a while — after I couldn't fritter
Away more time mentally brooding.

It isn't meant to be this egg and me.
'That butcher's egg is a Dodo my cares
For it is dead'. I pitied for it briefly,
'Felt guilty for my mother's meagre shares'.

by Mark Heathcote

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