Marvin Lurie

Mr. Whitman Candles Eggs

This morning for breakfast
I took two eggs from the fridge.
Holding them in my hand
I was struck by the whiteness around me:
white eggs, white fridge, white stove, white sink, white dishwasher,
how unnatural that seemed
when through the window nothing was white.
Our eggs were brown
when I stayed with my grandmother during summers.
We bought them from the Whitmans
who had a farm stand on the highway.
Sometimes I sat on their cellar steps
and watched Mr. Whitman candle that morning's eggs.
He had cut the bottom off a tin funnel
turned it over a light bulb on a wire frame like a shade
and rolled each egg over the bulb
so they glowed from inside
to reveal any cracks or blood spots.
Those couldn't be sold.

On hot days I think about that cool cellar,
its field stone walls and jumble
of no longer used tools and implements.
And I look at yard sales and in antique stores
for a hand made tin candler like Mr. Whitman's
to keep in my kitchen.
It should be rusted and dented
and look out of place.

 

See Earl Jr.'s New Machine

 

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