The Art Of Breaking An Egg
Certain memories I have lost,
or purposely forgotten.
One morning from childhood, my mother
stirred early from her bed, to make breakfast
for her children.
Of that day I can recall
the taste of homemade pancakes
as if I had ate them this morning-
The smell of fresh coffee,
bacon sizzling and milk
as crisp and as clean as line dried linens.
What I can’t remember is why
my mother had woke so early,
before the dawn,
worked in the garden and then tended to
her daily chores.
What I can’t remember now,
but if you’d asked me 3 years ago
I could have recited in infinite detail:
the smell of her hair as I brushed up against
her fragile shoulder, walking down
the narrow hallway.
Or her hands, every scar and wrinkle that
had either been stained by ink
because of her obsessive need to write letters
she would later burn- or nicotine
from years of feeding her addiction to death.
What I could of told you was
how clearly her eyes embellished
the perfect image of her life, or
how well she spoke without choking
on the blood seeping in her throat.
In the late 90’s
(I cannot give a definite year since I’ve blurred
all days into one scene of consciousness)
when the illness had rendered her useless-
I sat by her bedside in the early evening,
as light from a timeless sun
came streaming tragically through
her open window, to bring into view
every ribbon of hair- discolored and fading,
mutating her ladylike features into a corpse,
riddled by the effects of time and starvation.
While I silently waited for her to wake-
And when I pressed my lips to her brow, she,
as if asking momentary remission of the disease,
Never acknowledging how all day, everyday
I faithfully cleansed then anointed her deathbed
and cut kenneling for her pyre, to be lit
should she hear the voice of her God call
from beyond the semblance of sorrow, she
more than once referred to as her life of servitude.
Of what she dreamed, if anything at all,
I don’t know.
I never had the heart to ask her.
It was the last time I remember
there being peace in the world.
What I do know was how her eyes twitched
beneath their lids, as though
she were reading the very map of her existence,
or the blueprint of divinity.
As moments go, I let this one pass,
but not before sewing it into
the fiber of my being, so that
on those certain days
when I need to know who I am,
I will remember the flesh from whence
I was born.
And now, so much time since her death
has rendered me useless, I rouse myself
early in the mornings, walk out into fields
before the farmers have time to thrash the wheat,
to feel the heat and smell the storm from yesterday,
that today prepares my nostalgic heart for tomorrow’s cremation.