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Liz Almond, from The Shut Drawer

The Darning Eggs

The daughter, Jill, carried her empty pail
into which she peered anxiously
for signs of guilt or something female;
in her head, some words from a story
you never know till it's in the bucket
clatter like stones on galvanised metal.

She toils uphill,
places her pail at the foot of the bed
leans over, divines a yolk
with bloodspots and a speck of baby bird
- what kind of bird she speculates;
Cuckoo, Blue-backed Roller, Canada Goose?

She'd seen a pair of geese fly overhead
as Jack came tumbling down
with homemade elastoplast
to mend his head would, but hers, hers
is a more permanent scar. Lugged out of theatre
like a pot of steamed rice, basmati, transparent.

Jill holds in her palm five wooden eggs
that will hatch nothing. She takes one
and drops it in her glove for darning;
her mother taught her how to darn and mend
but now she knows that some things
are unmendable.