Sharon Black


Walking on Eggshells

You can do it providing
you set them out carefully,
tapered ends up.

You should wear plimsolls;
there must be no excuse
for noise.

Exhale through your fingertips
steady poles of light                                                     
then step lightly from one peak to the next                       

with a tight-rope walker’s concentration.
If you’re lucky you will make it
to the other side of that day’s clutch

spread out like a knuckle that stretches for miles
from one room to the next.
If you slip

hold perfectly still while the ground
cracks open like a skull;
fall as discreetly as possible

into the sudden roar
of albumen, blood, yolk,
of thin limbs and unopened wings;

hold your breath against the stench
of all that’s rotten and raw                                                         
and pray, just pray, that this time

you’ll land on feathers.


(from my collection 'To Know Bedrock', published by Pindrop Press)

Copyright © Sharon Black 2011