How to Celebrate the Vernal Equinox

Plastic grass tucked in loose nests into baskets. The full moon just passed. The formica from 1964 with alternating wheels and stars in mint and sunshine. She calls us “Bewwwip!” from the back door. We run, twigs from the apple tree in our hair. “Okay now,” she says, pulling the egg from the carton’s hollow center. We stand back, hands clasped, eyes on her delicate fingers. The first stands, and she smiles. “Let’s do two.” And the second. Witchcraft. The Egg of Columbus. She rights a third.

 the author's Mama

the author's Mama

The phone rings from the grocery store. They, too, have stood their eggs at noon. Now social services. A law class. The notions department at the store downtown. Eggs stand all over town, the phone ringing. We know that eggs will stand on a Friday in February when the mourners file out into the frigid air. We know that eggs will stand when we celebrate birthdays, when the wreath we place in December collapses into wire and foam by Easter. The eggs will stand, and she quietly believes in the magic and does not, her faith another form of wit and play, the pagan inside her teasing the Catholic. We share the secret knowledge that the eggs will stand whenever we need them, but not yet. For now, it is all light and gravitational pull, all things in balance. She plucks them up from the counter and boils them for lunch, the shells cracking from the steam.

 

- Frances Badgett is a writer and editor in Bellingham, WA. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Drunken Boat, Matchbook, Smokelong Quarterly, The Atticus Review, among other places. She is the fiction editor of Contrary Magazine and editor-in-chief of a local lifestyle magazine.