I climbed up the chocolate egg tree
in my Easter day dress, a calyx of pink
roses, unwound the wires that bore the fruit
and filled my pockets with foil and silver eggs.

Everyone hunted the bright plastic cases
on the ground, but I made a nest
in the strange-fruited rowan tree and refused
to come down, even after all the eggs

had been picked and my gold buttoned
cardigan stretched and sagged into
a loose green skin, too sharp and heavy
for a girl who wanted to live high in the branches.

So I took it off, wound the wires together
into a stiff stalk, emptied the foils of their
chocolate embryos, smeared my face with
them, a feral child who never learned mercy,

only knowing how nature had treated her.
The shiny eggshells became nodes on the wire
stem, my sweater sprouting from the end,
pushing upward towards the light; I just wanted

some part of me to know what it feels like
to fly. My kite of wire, broken shells, green
and gold, cutting into the pinnates of my leafy
hands— a tender pistil of tin and polyester.

You rested your palms on the lower branch,
watched me perch like some flower
nature had malformed, or the bird born
of a bruised egg, unsure what its wings were for.

It’s time to come down, you said,
as if something about me had changed,
was no longer fit for the branch, or the sky.
You reached for my waist to pluck me

and bring me back to the earth, where
we ply our lives into parallel lines, or tack
with our breath held, waiting for the edge of the world;
but if you climb high enough, all lines curve inward.

Your hands slid beneath my blouse
to feel the reticulate patterns on my skin.
I trembled when you traced the lines
that ride so near the surface,

and I didn’t want to say, but feel you ought to know—
we carry our endings inside us.

Corinne is a tumbleweed poet from Texas/Japan who completed her master's in creative writing at the University of Edinburgh, and now resides in New Mexico. Last year she received a Dorothy Sargent Rosenburg prize for three of her poems.

A little over a year ago I was living in the middle of Edinburgh, Scotland, which in my mind was the equivalent of living in a fairy tale.  One of the lovely things about this magical city is the prolific, secret-gardenesque parks that are contained by each block of flats.  The only way to get into these gardens is generally through the basement or ground level floor of one of the apartment buildings, so they are private paradises for the residents. 

On Easter of last year, a friend of mine hid bright plastic eggs all throughout the small, ancient garden behind her flat.  When she led us outside to start the hunt, we found that someone had snuck in and meticulously wired the central tree of the garden with about a hundred tiny chocolate eggs, each encased in tin-foil with a wire sprouting from the top, then wrapped around a twig of the tree. A neighbour had seen my friend preparing for an Easter egg hunt, and had snuck out and crafted this chocolate egg-tree for us.  It was a beautiful gift, making the garden into a something from a Roald Dahl story.  So I climbed up the tree and spent the rest of the afternoon there, watching the hunt for the plastic eggs and stuffing my pockets full of silver foil.



Copyright 2009