Upon Examining the Newly Hatched Egg That Flew 108 Times Around The World
Upon Examining the The Newly Hatched Egg That Flew 108 Times Around The World
by Martin Ott
What did we think we would find?
A canister of microfilm genetically
coded to appear inside the chick,
so that when it became fully grown
a spy could find the secret plans
over a sweet and sour Szechwan?
Or maybe the bird would be
confused by why humans talked
and chickens couldn’t, wondering
how it could reclaim its spacecraft
crashed in a child’s plastic swimming
pool and return to the future?
Or else this chicken can actually
fly with feathered grace and send
pregnant women into orbit for a new
race of dizzy, far-flung progeny.
What do we know about science
anyway? Beakers shatter. The metric
system fells empires. People die.
Fowl are tested to insure plumpness.
10-year-old girls get their period
from chicken hormones. Lightning
cannot be safely bottled. Beakers glow.
Somewhere in China, students labor
to free the space chicken. Escape
plans are drawn in code and a route
along the old Spice Trail is scouted
where the ancient snake is most brittle.
Is it true that the Great Wall of China
is the only man-made structure visible
from space with the naked eye?
Or is it a lie? Even a chicken can see
borders below as it spins on a rotisserie,
held by an unseen astronaut’s hand.
The shell is cracking. Through chicken
wire on some distant plain, a hen
watches a parade of cloud people.
Dreams are hatched. A space chicken
franchise is opening in New Orleans.
Will we choose to only devour
chickens that have learned to soar?
Somewhere in a sanitary cubicle
on the other side of the globe,
a scientist sweats in rubber gloves
and feels a tiny heartbeat vibrating,
soundless from the other side
of the barrier. In that time he will
have revolved once around the earth
and the chick will whisper its secrets.
We wait, breathless, for the first peep.
-refers from the phrase “someone lays an egg” in J.P. Dancing Bear’s poem Spellbound.