Hen Eggs

Hen Eggs2


Stephen Page


Hen Eggs




I wake up late in the morning, ten o’clock,


To the shouts of children in the living


Room. I feel like

sleeping more, but stir and robe




Myself to stumble to the kitchen to pour


My first cup of coffee. 

The smell is rich


As bramble, but before I can sip into




Lucidity the screams of my three-year-old


Grandchild and four of her friends headache me to


Shower where I wash away last night’s dream.




I dress and backpack and ready to tramp


To the wood to find the myth, but my wife,


Who is watching the kids, is called




By the capataz to come look at the cows,


So she asks me to babysit until she returns.


I never asked to be a grandfather, nor responsibly




A father, but here I am, married to a woman


I love, a widow, a mother whose daughter


Has children: I am a grandfather by default.




We watch a Disney movie and sing and march


Around the coffee table—I intervening when


Their tags becomes shoves: 

I bore quickly.




My wife enters the back door and I bolt out


The front, Not making three strides across the lawn


Before she yells and asks that I start the asado




For her daughter and son-in-law who will arrive


In three hours. I

glance at the mottled


Trees at the edge of the wood, realizing how easy




It would be to just say ‘no’, to go to my real work,


Myth finding, but I set my backpack down on a white


Wooden bench and set fire to the kindling.




Four hours later, full of meats, wine,


And exhaustion from bending over a grill,


I drink a double espresso and ready myself to hike




Alone, restart my day, discover truths, but


My oldest grandchild grasps my hand and pleads


‘please, take me to pool, show me chickens,




walk with me,’ her

lake eyes large as sky.


I walk with her, show her the covered pool,


Explain to her that it is too late in the year




To swim, too cold; Walk past the reddening


Lawn oak, take her to the hen house, find a fresh


egg still warm for her to carry back to her mother.



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