Jared Carter Poetry
Once a wind egg called out to a young girl who went each morning to collect eggs for her grandmother—"O child, do not take me, let the hen my mother set for ten more days, I long to walk about in the world, even now I can see the horse grazing in the meadow." "How can this be?" the girl wondered. "Neither white egg nor brown ever speaks to me. They have nothing to say, in their thin shells, even when we hold them up to the candle's glow. But this one has a blue eye, and wears no coat. I had better ask grandmother." The old woman had peered into hens' eggs for so many years she could see into the heart of things. When the child told her of the talking egg, she was not deceived. "It is the wind," she declared, "trying to make mischief among honest folk." "Never could we leave the brood mares alone in the pasture when the wind blew down from the mountains. Crossing the barnyard in winter, I too have felt it, reaching in. An egg without a shell is an abomination. Cast it out for the hogs to eat." That night the girl dreamt of an empty nest, and a blue eye singing to itself. She reached out to take it in her hand but it was like holding water. She threw it against the wall and it slid down and became whole again, balanced in her palm. "No," she said to herself next morning, and she opened the pocket of her apron and slipped in the strange egg. The black hen cackled, and the rooster crowed. "Alas, I can see nothing!" the egg called, but the girl's thighs kept it warm, and in nine days it quickened. Lying alone in her room she awoke to the glint of a new moon shining through the window, and there was no membrane, no shell, no barrier to what she could become. Next morning, the old woman looked away from the tremor of light into which she was gazing. "Go," she said, "for nothing can keep you here now. That is the way of the wind—it is always blowing, always wanting to be elsewhere." She turned back to her candle. "I long to be out in the world," the young woman said. "The horse waits for me in the meadow." The horse galloped toward her through the tall grass, and the wind leapt from her apron, into its sleek body, its churning hooves. The horse shuddered, and knelt down, and she mounted its back. "Let us ride," said a clear voice that was all around her now.
from The Laurel Review [credits]