Riley is Dead: HardBoiled Eggs by Chanel Brenner: AfterTalk Inspirational 7.25.19

by Chanel Brenner


Riley is dead,

and now, I make eggs

for his brother,

like I used to do

for him.


As I boil the water,

I remember how Riley loved

to shift them

in the glass bowl

while they cooled,my son died AfterTalk Grief support

watching light

flicker the water,


as if he beheld a world,

unknown to me,

somewhere he used to be

or wanted to return to.


I imagine Riley gliding

like the eggs,

through silken water,

back into

the embryo’s shell,

the membrane so sheer

I can almost see through,

to where a ray of light

must have beckoned him.


Sometimes, I imagine

Riley is Dead AfterTalk grief supporthim on the other side

of a veiled split,

or in another kitchen,

staring at eggs

with a knowing

he’s unable to grasp.


I drop the hardboiled eggs

in a bowl of cold water,

submerge my hand,

and sway the ovals

with my fingers.


Their shells clink

like bells

at a faraway church.

Hard-Boiled Eggs” first appeared in The Midnight Oil.

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Every Thursday we publish “AfterTalk Inspirational.” We invite readers to submit their own poem, essay, or suggestions for inspirational quotes for publication. If you are a therapist you are welcome to extend this invitation to your clients as well. Please send your submission to

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