Click here to listen to Brian R. Lutz read this poem. Earthward as a fallen egg—          strange how our lives seem,                      one moment, so self-contained,          so stable—how my mother would, when baking, rest her eggs in a nest

of dishtowels. In her stirring,
           tasting, pinching
                       a mothering of food—
           an Adam of apple, an Eve
of yeast blended in an Eden

of blue bowls, hemispheres
           of flour, soda, and lard—
                       her hum, the susurrus shaking
           of the cinnamon tin, a roughness
of sugar glittering on the table,


the radio tuned to her teens,
           blonde hair long, parted
                       the twelve siblings, every
           supper the Last Supper
attended by Mary and Joseph.

Then my mother at 28
           the oxbow of her belly
                       full with the cannonball
            (my sister turning towards life)
my mother’s hands not yet grown


to painful trees, her hair
           a salmon’s tail, her mind
                       unresolved. At thirty-five
           she carried the stone
of her own history until it made

a bridge of her back. Yet,
           There was perfection
                       as of an egg
           in my mother’s sink-bright
kitchen. She worked from memory

in a fog of flour,
           and didn’t she make
                       the day that waited
           in the terrarium outside my window?
Only, somewhere among the apple peels

and sugar grains her fingers thickened
           and upset the nesting egg—
                       how surprised she
           must have been to hear it
crinkle and plash into the kitchen tile.