Poetry Pause x Poetry in Union: Jim Nason – Eggshells

Poem author: Jim Nason Poem title: Eggshells Poem: When Rooster flew the Co-op to explore the world on stilts, no one talked about the state of the nest he abandoned, the deathly smell of broken, featherless hens, the eggshells of prisoner grief that littered the floor-sod, rat pee and half eaten worms, the cold wind blowing through chicken wire. The morning he left there was a prophetic quiet among the usually chatty stars as they faded, distress and silence co-pillowed the hens. The stilts he made of broken shells, straw and hay, molded together with dust and the yoke of conquered hens allowed him to navigate the snow that had fallen all night. The crisp air was an affirmation. The yard was still except for a restrained wind that filled the puncture marks of his crossing. What if there is no better life? Staring down the length of his new legs, Rooster had never been naïve and could already feel the biting cold of his freedom, his feet freezing like mice nibbling the claw tips of his toes. Emptiness was the steepled house he carried on his wings, the enormous waking in his chest, sun rising in silence, his bent over shadow tilted against the glittery field. End of Poem. Copyright © Jim Nason Originally appeared in Rooster, Dog, Crow (Frontenac House, 2018). Shortlisted for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award. Poet and fiction writer, Jim Nason is the author of six volumes of poetry, a short story collection, and three novels. He has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Award in both the fiction and poetry categories. His most recent poetry book Rooster, Dog, Crow was Shortlisted for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award, and his poems have been included in anthologies across the United States and Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, 2010 and 2014. Jim is the founder and organizer of Canada’s annual human rights poetry event “Meet Me in the Middle: Writers on Rights.” “Damned if You Do,” is the title story from his new short fiction collection. Visit Jim’s website at www.jimnason.com