Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Hard-Boiled Egg

I was born with a hard-boiled egg in my mouth.  Of course I’d already peeled it, or I’d never have been passed.  Stuck in the dark of that red place, listening to muffled booms.  No Mozart.  Nothing to read.  Sooner or later my mother would have crunched and cinched herself to regain flat abs.  That would be my second chance.  I was born to hit the ground running, tuck and roll, but I was slow, so slow.  Like trying to learn to ride my bike, launched down a cement sidewalk.  I fell as I waited for magic to strike and keep me traveling.  I was born to wait for peaches to fill out, bring the smell of summer.  I washed them like a raccoon to get rid of the fuzz, I hid the pits behind the hose.  I was born to wait on the ocean floor, squinting up through weight of water, looking for faint dazzle of light, afraid of distant air.