Poetry Porch: Poetry


by Gail Mazur

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 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.”

Copyright © by Gail Mazur. This poem is from They Can’t Take That Away From Me, University of Chicago Press, 2001. Reprinted with permission.