Almost Hatched

I cannot imagine shell-life,
new body inside a membrane, 

mother long gone, mother
in the coop, in the henhouse. 

I make this baby in a box, taken
from the wire basket outside, 

dirt-covered, mottled, brown,
& wait for proof  

that in spite of being alone, it
will struggle on, push itself  

through the jagged cracks, find
the cupped light  

that blooms in my palm
a safe deliverance.






Red Head
by Richard Stephens