The egg and the orange tree

Dark blood erupts from cracked shell, spills and spreads
Nothing of golden yolk – abomination.
Breakfast sickened, hands scrubbed three times, but resistant
Their lines hold the tang of metal
Lady Macbeth to my flock
Each bird, old and sickened in servitude
Falls on her hocks
Head lowered to the earth
Gifting one last thought – an ugly birthing.

Egg flushed away, surface disinfected – but daylong
My stomach churns in revolt
Knowing that at dusk,
Under the orange tree
My uncertain hand
Stranger to mercy killing
No softer for its timid doubt
Will force the end – a bitter despatch.
No easier for the sweet garden and fragrant passing.
For days, my revulsed heart
Carries the warm smell of death.


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