Saturday, 28 January 2017

My Grandfather and His Eggs

by Lauren Camp


My Papa raised the flattened sun on a Tulsa sky
each weekday morning. Tall and hollow,

he was suspended in a life sunny side up.
Nine to 5, he candled eggs, sorted them by color

then headed home to boiled eggs. Papa played piano.
He carried his lungs in a shirt pocket, his humor

in a highball glass. Sometimes Papa painted portraits;
his life was drawn in charcoal.

Papa steeped his eggs in oleo. Papa fried his fears.
On weekends, Papa walked nine holes of golf

then sank into his armchair. Papa lit a cigarette.
Papa by TV, Papa with his glasses.

My mom was fragile when he died.
We watched her eyes go runny,

how she slid into the pan
of what was missing.

I tell you grief can lay eggs anywhere.
Pale and delicate, Mom dreamt her daddy

in the bowl of heaven.
She saw Papa in her photos, heard Papa

in her whispers. Papa drinking gin,
Papa over easy. Now Mom has moved

through that same membrane, and without her,
life in our house keeps breaking open.

* * * * *

"My Grandfather and His Eggs" was first published in Artistica 'zine.

Lauren Camp is the author of three books, most recently One Hundred Hungers (Tupelo Press, 2016), winner of the Dorset Prize. Her poems have been published in New England Review, Poetry International, Cultural Weekly, Beloit Poetry Journal and as a Poem-a-Day for Poets.org. Other literary honors include the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize, the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, and a Black Earth Institute Fellowship. She is a staff writer for Poets Reading the News and the producer/host of “Audio Saucepan” on Santa Fe Public Radio, a program that interweaves music with contemporary poetry. www.laurencamp.com