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.




Ruth Ozeki

Spring, 2010