By Erin Wood

March 2, 2020


After the very worst winter, spring pushes back the smell of antiseptic, the taste of iron, the pain of useless milk, and fills the air with the green aroma of life once more. It draws me out again, bare feet in cool grass blades, standing in my yard a simple thing I'd loved before and might again—if only I could stop hearing his cries and leave closed the door to his empty room.

In the grass at my feet, a portal opens and I glimpse a cerulean universe. I bend to see whether I might step in, and a fleck of eggshell paints itself blue against the vigor of green. As I push the broken piece aside, a yolk spreads quietly beneath.

Vicious cheeps from the enormous oak above reveal a robin nested on a low branch. Her neck bobs, belly swells and shrinks, feet dance. She flashes wild as the black peens of her eyes hold and shake me. They say, There is no way to do this. There is only going mad.

A robin lays a clutch of eggs, stopping when the number feels right beneath her body. Are there more in her nest, or only the one at my feet? Slow and soft as I can, I grasp the blue shell and hold it up to her, its speckles like dark stars.


Erin Wood is author of Women Make Arkansas: Conversations with 50 Creatives (2019) and editor of Scars: An Anthology (2015), which assembles forty contributions on scars of the body. She is owner and director of Et Alia Press.


Image courtesy of Hannah Schulte on Unsplash.

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