Sleetmagazine.com

Volume 12 • Number 2 • Fall - Winter 2020

Mary K O'Melveny

Mourning Our Dead

A brown and white speckled egg lies
broken on a grey wooden deck.
It is about the size of a thumbnail.
The pale yellow embryo landed
at an angle, its tiny feet
tinged with orange. Its nervous mother
had been squawking at passersby
from a nest perched on a drainpipe.

The day began with optimism
as the sun rose over the pines
and the creek water reflected
its rays as if someone had tossed
votive candles from its curved banks.
A meadowlark’s weet weet weet mixed
with a sparrow’s see see, reverent
as a Shacharit prayer.

Mary K O'Melveny, a retired labor rights lawyer turned poet, lives with her wife in Washington DC and Woodstock NY. Her award-nominated work has appeared in many print and on-line journals and national blog sites. She is the author of A Woman of a Certain Age and Merging Star Hypotheses (Finishing Line Press 2018, 2020) and co-author of the anthology An Apple In Her Hand (Codhill Press 2019).