Mary K O'Melveny
Mourning Our Dead
A brown and white speckled egg lies
broken on a grey wooden deck.
It is about the size of a thumbnail.
The pale yellow embryo landed
at an angle, its tiny feet
tinged with orange. Its nervous mother
had been squawking at passersby
from a nest perched on a drainpipe.
The day began with optimism
as the sun rose over the pines
and the creek water reflected
its rays as if someone had tossed
votive candles from its curved banks.
A meadowlark’s weet weet weet mixed
with a sparrow’s see see, reverent
as a Shacharit prayer.