(posted Wednesday, Dec. 4; to be composted Wednesday, Dec. 11) To hear the poet read “Evening,” click here or on the title. Sometimes she’s Confucian–
resolute in privation …
Each day, more immobile,
hip not mending, legs swollen;
still she carries her grief
with a hard steadiness.
Twelve years uncompanioned,
there’s no point longing for
what can’t return. This morning,
she tells me, she found a sick
robin, hunched in the damp dirt
by the blossoming white
azalea. Still there at noon–
she went out in the yard
with her 4-pronged metal cane–
it appeared to be dying.
Tonight, when she looked again,
the bird had disappeared and
in its place, under the bush,
was a tiny egg–
“beautiful robin’s-egg blue”–
she carried carefully indoors.
“Are you keeping it warm?”
I ask–what am I thinking?–
And she: “Gail, I don’t want
a bird, I want a blue egg.”

Gail Mazur’s third book of poetry, The Common, was published in 1995.