Ostrich Eggs

a poem by 
ROBERT BEVERIDGE | Media Critic + Poet

“IT takes three hundred pounds
of pressure”, the old man said,
“to crack the shell of an ostrich egg.”
He put one on the ground. “Come here, Miss,
I want you to stand
on this egg.” You held out your hand
and I took it. And when you raised up,
all your weight on one sandaled foot
upon that egg, you held my hand tight
as you could, looked down at it,
then looked at me, a combination
of wonder and disbelief in the crease
of your brow, in your open lips.

When you stepped down, the old man picked
up the egg. “See? Not a scratch.”
You let go of my hand. Not even a footprint
on the egg, but perhaps the first cracks
in your armor. I could feel your fingers
wrapped over mine the rest of the night.


Photograph by The Pic Pac