“Shell Thick and Her Own Planet” by Angie Mason

Ekphrastic Challenge, December 2018: Editor’s Choice


Untitled by Kari Gunter-Seymour, one egg in a carton

Image: “Untitled” by Kari Gunter-Seymour. “Shell Thick and Her Own Planet” was written by Angie Mason for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, December 2018, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Angie Mason


There were days
where she felt like this,

like the weight of an egg
last in its carton.

It wasn’t out of kindness
she kept leaving

the last one for him,
it was a kind of forfeiture.

There was no point
substituting snake

egg, with milk stone,
with last of its kind.

Each morning
she wondered if the day

would pass without
a crack. Each morning

he would wake
asking for another.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
December 2018, Editor’s Choice


Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “My favorite ekphrastic poems are often those that spin the image into an entire world, and Angie Mason manages to do that here in just eighteen slender lines. As in the photograph, we never see the couple whose life as a pair revolves around the planet of the egg, but we can feel the weight of what’s coming. And those line breaks! Each turn is a new crack. The free verse is still verse.”

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