by Emily R. Antrilli
A child, five or six, still
tonguing milk and greeting
adults with a wet-lipped kiss.
In the yard, I found a robin’s
egg still oval-shaped, in-tact
and speckled blue. Cupping it
in my palms, I ran to mother,
inhaling a cigarette on the front
step and asked her to please
tell me how to get this unborn
child back to its nest, its mother
would be breaking windows
when she realized her count was
off, her litter of un-cracked shells
was missing a breathing thing.
She huffed the tip of her Marlboro
Red between her fingers, cracked
her eyes in a tired way and said
A mother won’t want that once
its fallen from her nest. A mother
won’t take the spoiled thing back.
She spoke and I watched the ash
fall from the end of her smoking-
thing and my gaze caught too
little focus on the roll-able thing
in my palm and it happened so
fast, slipped onto the cement
and mother laughed at the
splatter of shell and blood-
tainted yolk. What’s done
is done. Go wash your hands.
And I did what I was told.
Emily R. Antrilli is a graduate from the Rowan University’s Writing Arts and Sociology programs. She is currently a first-year MFA in Creative Writing student at Arcadia University, concentrating in poetry. She serves as an art and poetry editor for Arcadia’s MFA Literary Journal, Marathon. When not writing, she enjoys studying art, literature, and animal advocacy.