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,
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
Also by A. E. Stallings (see all)
- Afterglow: An Appreciation of Robert B. Shaw’s What Remains to Be Said - September 22, 2022
- Paying (Homage to) the Ferryman - May 31, 2021
- The Poet on The Road to Sparta - October 23, 2018