He reached in and with an abracadabra
brought out the egg. Cushioned in his palm
it looked so fragile that a whisper
might shatter it. The sprinkling of gold
on the turquoise shell turned it into treasure.

I didn’t know then that it was a crime
but how could taking something so precious
be right? Breaking off a hawthorn twig
he poked a hole at either end, blew out
a clear yolk with a ribbon of scarlet.

Forty years on, in this small paved space,
the best I could do for a garden round here,
I can still feel the stickiness of the shell
as I look at holes I’ve sheared in the privet
hoping that something might come and nest here.

Andrew Forster has published three collections of poetry, most recently Homecoming (Smith Doorstop 2014). He is currently completing a PhD in Poetry and Environmentalism at Manchester Metropolitan University.