Ruth Ozeki, ducks

poem by the fabulous Ruth Ozeki, author of A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING.

duck eggs
My husband’s hatching duck eggs.
While I’m away, here,
writing poems, he’s got
8 eggs in an incubator,
in his office.
4 times a day, for 35 days
he must turn his eggs
180 degrees. He must mist
them with water, too,
because, being ducks,
they like water.
4 times a day, he’ll come running
back to the house, bounding
up the stairs, crying,
“Time to turn the ducks!”
I can imagine this.
“I have no friends,”
he told me on the phone,
“so I need to hatch some.”
“We miss you,” he says,
every time he hangs up.

He counts the days
til the emergence of his flock
of small new friends.
While I’m here, writing poems,
one by one, he holds them
up to a lamp to see if they are living.
They’re still mostly yolk,
he reported last night, but now
in 28 eight short days they’ll sport
damp wings and feathers, eyes and feet,
and small blunt bills to tap tap tap
their way out from the inside,
opening the wall
of the world,
a hole to the light,
where they’ll first catch
sight of his face,
(…he is leaning over them
watching, heart in his throat…)
and come bursting forth,
and fall hopelessly in love.

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