When You Least Expect It

the yolks break, the eggs are overcooked
and the toast suffers, never tasting as it should,
never as it would with the smashed avocado
and the soft-centered egg sitting on top.

I stop to blame the spatula, the pan, even
the broody hen that vented the egg—
that harpy one that’s never pecked an ear of corn,
possibly deprived of calcium in her daily diet.

And I pity the poor laying hens living in squalor;
beaks pruned back to prevent self-mutilation,
ovulating their private sorrows onto cold wires
from boxed cages that cats only briefly know.

But soon the lesser joys of hard-cooked egg
are swallowed down with orange sports drink—
vanished, like the burrows beneath the plow,
like the dew-kissed footprints to my door.

Keith W Gorman is an emerging poet, classical guitarist, and factory worker living near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Eastern Tennessee. He is a classically trained musician, scholarship recipient, and graduate of the Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He currently resides with his loving girlfriend and two very spoiled cats.

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