Today’s #AparTogether poetry challenge prompt was to write an acrostic poem. This one fell into my consciousness as I sat on the porch this morning. It seems to be reflective of my mood in these days of social distancing and isolation.

Let the birdsong heal your heart
in the moments of your grief, as
silence echoes loss, let
the river whisper peace, and
enter your broken sorrow–
narcotics for your soul.


©stephanie pepper, 2020

Tuesday morning I left the house

Tuesday morning I left the house
and when I returned after a short time
the top half (or maybe the bottom) of a bright
blue eggshell lay on the third porch step.
If it was there when I left those 40 minutes prior

I did not notice, my mind engaged
as it was on sunglasses, and earbuds,
and music for running. But there, now,
in the center of the concrete step,
the freshly vacated remnants that housed

a life lay curved side to the sun. Robin egg
blue, a color itself, and aptly so, for it needs
no qualifier or extra words. And for three days–
from Tuesday until Friday afternoon,
it lay undisturbed in the middle of

the step, as he and I came and went,
came and went, carrying in bags of groceries,
a pizza, the mail, and carrying out garbage and waste.
It lay as if encased in a protective bubble–a shell perhaps,
until this afternoon I came in again and

up the step, pausing, as had become my habit
these three days, to observe how perfectly it lay.
My shoulders sank as I saw it crushed. I was so careful and
had not felt it under my foot as I descended the steps,
but could my sneakered foot have struck the blow

and I so unaware? Before me lay
the fragments scattered and ground fine
by a foot. Now I think, and maybe aloud,
it is solace, shell, that your one-time tenant
broke her lease and she now resides in a

fine new nest of twigs and grass, bound
by hundreds of beaksful of mud, somewhere near–
in the eaves of the house, or a tree nearby, and
feeds from her father’s beak on worms and bugs,
moving through life from one fragile dwelling to another.

©stephanie pepper, 2019