Over 40 years
at the cutting edge
of poetry publishing

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.