Dyeing the Easter Eggs

Dyeing the Easter eggs, the children talk
Of dying. Resurrection’s in the air
Like the whiff of vinegar. These eggs won’t hatch,
My daughter says, since they are cooked and dead,
A hard-boiled batch.

I am the children’s blonde American mother,
Who thinks that Easter eggs should be pastel—
But they have icon eyes, and they are Greek.
And eggs should be, they’ve learned at school this week,
Blood red.

We compromise, and some are yellow, or blue,
Or red and blue, assorted purples, mauves,
But most are crimson, a hematic hue
Rubbed to a sheen with chrism of olive oil.
They will not spoil,

As Christian death is a preservative,
As Jesus trampled death and harrowed Hell.
The kids’ palms are incarnadine and violet.
A mess! Go wash your hands! They wash their hands,
Punctilious as Pontius Pilate.

A. E. Stallings

A. E. Stallings

A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999.She has published two volumes of translation, most recently a verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days from Penguin Classics, and four books of poems, most recently Like from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.She has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim, and the MacArthur foundations.
A. E. Stallings

Latest posts by A. E. Stallings (see all)

Author: A. E. Stallings

A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. She has published two volumes of translation, most recently a verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days from Penguin Classics, and four books of poems, most recently Like from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim, and the MacArthur foundations.