Ryan Edwards | To a Hatchling

Entombed alive, bereft of time,

Your flight begins in desperate climb.

You bore your head through sand and dirt;

Your frail limbs part the shaky earth.

A fiery light ignites your eyes

When from the hollow you arise

Above your brothers’ frenzied pile,

Onto a bleak, bedeviled isle.

Shadows across the torrid sand

Becloud your swift retreat from land:

In shrilly dance with wings outspread

A swarm amasses overhead.


Toward the beach they fold and fly—

A breaking volley through the sky.

Chaos abounds. The seized ascend

Toward the clouds, toward the end.

Wings beat the wind like drums of war,

Exploding waves—the cannons’ roar;

You scramble wildly through the fray

Into the surf protected bay.

What luck! What fortune! You’ve survived;

(To find that only you’ve arrived)

You reach the calm, sink beneath foam,

And from life’s dawn are left alone.


And here I have not been at once

Beset by perils on all fronts;

I did not bear your buried birth,

But we are of a kindred curse:

A lonesome song do we both sing

Adrift in fruitless wandering—

It echoes dull throughout the deep,

Pervades the night wind’s bitter sweep.

And though unheard by passersby,

Unknown to each indifferent eye,

I on the shore, and you at sea,

I sing with you, and you with me.


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