Archives for posts with tag: food poems

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BOY AND EGG
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Every few minutes, he wants
to march the trail of flattened rye grass
back to the house of muttering
hens. He too could make
a bed in hay. Yesterday the egg so fresh
it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it
to his ear while the other children
laughed and ran with a ball, leaving him,
so little yet, too forgetful in games,
ready to cry if the ball brushed him,
riveted to the secret of birds
caught up inside his fist,
not ready to give it over
to the refrigerator
or the rest of the day.

CREDIT: “Boy and Egg” appears in Naomi Shihab Nye‘s collection Fuel (BOA Editions, 1998, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: Heather Akki14, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1952, Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet, songwriter, novelist, and children’s book author. Her many honors and awards include four Pushcart Prizes, The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many notable book and best book citations from the American Library Association.

 

Image

BOY AND EGG

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Every few minutes, he wants

to march the trail of flattened rye grass

back to the house of muttering

hens. He too could make

a bed in hay. Yesterday the egg so fresh

it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it

to his ear while the other children

laughed and ran with a ball, leaving him,

so little yet, too forgetful in games,

ready to cry if the ball brushed him,

riveted to the secret of birds

caught up inside his fist,

not ready to give it over

to the refrigerator

or the rest of the day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1952, Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet, songwriter, novelist, and children’s book author. Her many honors and awards include four Pushcart Prizes, The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many notable book and best book citations from the American Library Association.

Photo: Heather Akki14, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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MAYA’S FIRST HARD BOILED EGG

by Al Basile

Set down by Mother, in a rush, the brown
egg wobbled drunkenly around the dish,
skidded as Maya brought her finger down
to poke it – it would take a special wish
 
to make it small enough to fit her face,
and not too hard for baby teeth to bite.
Her older brother, watching from his place
across the kitchen table, to incite
 
his sister’s tears, piped up in impish glee
“Betcha can’t make it stand up on end.”
She tried it as he grinned in mockery:
each end up, she couldn’t comprehend
 
why every time she took her hand away
the top would lose its balance and descend,
and once again she’d look on in dismay.
Her brother saw no reason to extend
 
her agitation. With a gallant reach
across the table, and a knowing smirk,
he said “Okay, now watch – I’m gonna teach
you how. Here’s all it takes to make it work.”
 
With that, he raised the egg and brought it down,
and cracked the big end on the table top.
It stood in fractured majesty. The frown
on Maya’s face transformed into a drop
 
at first, and then a torrent, of her tears.
Fetched by her daughter’s cries, Mother surveyed
the damage on the table. There are fears
not only groundless, but a grace displayed
 
upon a transformation of our sight.
“It’s busted,” Maya sobs. “Oh, honey, no -”
her Mother says, “It’s not. It’s still all right.
It’s just this broken shell that’s got to go.”
 
Her practiced hands remove the covering.
The egg, unshelled, is placed back on the plate,
its white on white, an unmasked lover hovering
above the surface of its unlike mate.
 
Maya’s expression quiets down to mild:
she sees a vapor round the white orb wreathing
warm against the china dish. The child,
eyes wide in wonder, coos out “Look – it’s breathing.”

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Watch author Al Basile read “Maya’s First Hard Boiled Egg” at this link.

Photo: Gordon Saunders, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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HARD BOILED EGGS 

by John O’Connell

Fill the saucepan
up with water; 
boil and boil
till everything is dry; 
then run
the cold tap
so that 
the inferno 
cools down.

Peel 
gently, 
add
salt and pepper
and
devour.

A
gastronomical
delight
for 
anyone
in
a garret. 

Photo: Thoranin Triwit, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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UNDRESSING A HARDBOILED EGG

by Corey Ginsberg

Scalding tips as I crunch your ivory armor
into spider webs, peel the flaky fragments
from your oblong eyeball,

and cradle you, naked in palm, under the spigot.
You wobble wild on the counter,
a drunken ice skater attempting infinity.

I try to imagine
your previous life — the hollow bird cavity
you mistook for outermost shell.

Who first thought to eat you, strange animal fruit?
Was it a hungry traveler raiding the roost,
searching for breast or thigh but willing to settle

for your jaundiced, unblinking eye?
Or is it human nature to explore each hidden galaxy
and its suspended sun, one careful bite at a time?