This morning we thought we’d give you an excerpt to enjoy from Amy Nawrocki’s Four Blue Eggs, which will make its worldwide debut in just over a week. What better piece to share than the namesake poem?


Four Blue Eggs


Mother robin sits impatiently
under the clothesline, inchworm
in beak, returns to her bundle only
when the large figure that looms
above the timber of a false tree
abandons curiosity, tiptoeing away in stillness.

Day by day this foreigner
monitors the progress of the four blue eggs,
sneaking peaks through thin slats of the deck,
the nest settled on a rafter, underneath.

Before the hatching, roundness obscures
the odd disaster of pre-birth, squished
into shells, formlessly foretelling little
of future wings. The understudy

anxiously goes about her gardening,
gathering dry, paralyzed insects from between
the loosened petals of marigolds
taking them with her through the sliding door.

In hours, it seems, their beaks
open in curious diamonds. Unfeathered
and sloppily pink, the four breathe in unison
awaiting the next meal. Their winged
mother reclaims them obediently.

Abandoning the fledglings is not easy—
Unattended by a camera’s eye, unnoted
in a field guide or baby book,
they’ll lose their dinosaur shape too quickly
and disappear into styled feathers

and worm hunts. Despite the surrogacy
she has lent them, the watcher knows
their first take off will go ahead without her
before goodbyes are settled, before
her own feathers are wide enough
for them to flourish under.