Literature 1-7-2010

mnLIT Original: “Eggshells”

"Eggshells" is a newly commissioned poem by one of our 2009 What Light grand prize-winners, Ben Weaver. Each of these new works is accompanied by a curated selection of work drawn from's vast database of artists.



I am waiting to be distinguished
because I am no longer beautiful

the earth rises in a black mess
while the snow melts

depending on the wind and conceit
going wherever the wondering drove us

watching ants crawl across the counter
as dish-fog spreads over the window

a skinned knee under her only dress
the way I remember it

the geese on their return beneath fixed stars
above the humpbacks and driftwood

the unknown sum defined
by the numbers around it

chewing on the inside of my mouth
like Mother did

fish sleeping in mud
the prison lights across the field

till the last number
till the water boils away

I dress and undress
fix and un-fix

go and come back
check the cupboards again

make a row of eggshells above the sink
and spoon dirt into them

with plans to start seeds
like an architect planting ivy


About the poet: Ben Weaver writes songs, poems, stories and draws pictures. He likes to cook, has a dog, and spends a lot of time in the woods and airports. You can read more of his work on his blog.

Don’t miss the related slideshow of visual art by Minnesota artists at the top of the page. Each work was handpicked specifically to accompany this poem.

______________________________________________________ is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation

Membership on is FREE. Find step-by-step instructions for how to join and how to use the free resources available on the site. If you need assistance, contact Will Lager at Any Minnesota resident is eligible to participate in’s mnLIT competitions for poetry and fiction; there are no entry fees, and writers at all levels of skill and experience are welcome to enter work for consideration by a revolving panel of established authors and publishing professionals in mnLIT’s blind adjudication process.