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Open Features: A Lonely Egg

Miriam McAttee was filled with wonder and sadness when she found a small egg under a tree.

I found a lonely egg under a shady tree
small, fragile; a perfect oval
such a little thing moulded by a dove
lying cold and helpless on the ground.

I picked it up, stroked it with a gentle finger:
Is there life inside?
Is there hope of life?
Can you call it Life?
This little gem lying in my hand.

Does it have a future?
Can I give it life and a future
as I enclose it warm and lovingly
in the palm of my hand?

I looked up at the branches high above for an answer
but its mother and father had flown off in fright
at my approach
perhaps with a last sad glance downward
knowing they would never again see
their child that was picked up by me.

And though I held their child with love
I knew it was hopeless
that love alone could not give it life
that it could not survive.

But for the few moments
that I held this little being in my hand
I felt such wonder and sad aching love
because I knew its life could never be.

Even without hope I could not leave such perfection behind
to be trampled underfoot
or kicked by flying hoofs
or cruelly crushed by a prey’s questing teeth
or swallowed by a salivating mouth.

And I wished I could work some magic whereby
I could waft it gently towards the sky
So that it would take wing
and change into a fledgling
growing ever whole and strong so that it can fly
safe and free towards the welcoming sky.

Alas, such wishes cannot come true
And in the end all I could do
Was take it home in my helpless hand
And lay it gently in some warm quiet place
And wish its soul happy and well
Somewhere safe wherever such souls may dwell.

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