walking home this morning i found a robin’s egg, pale and blue in a crevice on the cracked sidewalk.
it was slightly chipped on the side and cold to the touch,
other bits of broken shell and smudges of yellow yolk were smeared across the gray concrete,
a miniature crime scene leftover from when the orange tabby nick and i saw on the way to school was slinking around the tree in question.
i looked up into the bare branches, hoping to find a nest to put the tiny egg back into and finding nothing.
the tabby must’ve knocked it from the tree and the mother bird would never try to look for her lost babies, she would just simply lay more and incubate until they hatched, little purple and pink skinned veiny babies, life still perilous for them until they grew feathers and could fly away.
i turned my attention back to the egg that rested in my palm, now warm from my own body heat.
the part of me that will forever be nine suggested that we could incubate the egg ourselves and the baby could still be born.
the adult part of me replied that incubation would be impossible and even if the egg hatched, caring for a newborn chick would be equally impossible.
we should let it go and leave it for nature.
leave it for nature.
i look back at the egg in my hand, my fingers curled around it to protect it from falling and i marvel at how beautiful something so tiny could be and i can’t bring myself to drop it in the grass where i know it will be smashed and destroyed, yet i could find no nests on the walk back to my house.
so i sit, with a tiny kernel of possibilities in my palm, mourning for just a moment the life inside that will never be.
—“the circle of life”