Among foodies and four wines, we marvel
as the quail egg bubbles in its sabayon bath
with unalloyed luster, joke fondly
that, of course, such food
was not to his taste, not for my father
who ate an ordinary sort of egg,
boiled precisely three minutes —
his sole culinary deed,
his meager breakfast day after day,
a ceremony sure as morning light.
He spooned his egg from the saucepan,
conveyed it carefully to the sink,
balancing the hot brittle weight,
and blessed it under cold water
until he could pick up the egg
between his tender thumb and forefinger,
lift it gingerly and place it daintily
in the cracked blue cup.
He tapped its brown shell, sliced its tip with a dull knife,
wove his spoon through the egg-white quilt,
spilled its yolk, salted—and ate.
My mother tried to cut him off—cholesterol.
He rose earlier each morning
while she dozed, and boiled one, another:
gold to his mouth.