top of page

2 Poems by Christopher Clauss

Conundrum of Eggshells

There are days

when the eggshell cracks symmetrical

or close enough

with a little tap

and a little pull

and it all comes out as it was intended.

There are days

when a half dozen tiny triangles of shell

peel off from the edges

and fall into the bowl.

The yolk cracks and smears and blurs

as it slides from the shell,

hiding the triangles from view.

You know they're in there

but not how many.

You see them

for a glimmering second

probe a finger into the bowl

and they swirl away.

And then

what do you do

with a bowl of mostly egg

and one or more

invisible chunks of shell.

Your gut says

cook it

promises you will never even notice.

Cook it.

Cook it.

You worry you'll find one the hard way.

Cook it.

It will pierce the roof of your mouth

when you least expect it.

Cook it.

Heat the fry pan.

This is the moment of decision.

You could probably run it all through a colander

A strainer of some kind

It's probably not even in there.

But then you'd have to do the extra dishes

And you hate dishes.And the frying pan is sizzling

like a dare.

And you cook the thing.

And you take the first bite of warm egg

and it's fine.

So you take the second bite

and it really

really isn't.

Eating the Paste

There was that kid

in kindergarten

who always ate the paste.

Always nibbling chunks away

from the oversized tongue depressor

in the plastic jar.

He always got his attention,

chomping away

keeping careful watch

out of the corners of his eyes

to see who was looking

who would notice

who would tattletale to the teacher.

He always denied it

with a victorious grin.

Days like this

I get the urge to do

something out of the ordinary

to see if anyone will notice.

Leave a trail of breadcrumbs

obnoxious enough

that everyone will know I did it

without having seen.

Days like this

you need a little victory.

I'm going to eat the paste today.

I'm going to scream from a window,

Dance glamorous in the median.

Days like this

you need to draw a little attention.

Days like this

there's a crowd of onlookers

that don't yet know their role.

Something stupid.

Something harmless but strange.

Eat the paste

lick my lips like it was glorious

and let them wish they had some too.

Smear it across my forehead

let them wonder what it might do for their complexion.

Slather it through my hair

Squish it between my toes

Fling it into the air

and glory at the way it rains down again.

Let them suspect

there was something they were missing.

Catch their eye

and smile.

Let them deny it.

Let them gossip

and accuse

but always, in the backs of their minds

let them wonder.


Christopher Clauss (he/him) is an introvert, Ravenclaw, father, poet, photographer, and middle school science teacher in rural New Hampshire. His mother believes his poetry is "just wonderful." Both of his daughters declare that he is the "best daddy they have," and his pre-teen science students rave that he is "Fine, I guess. Whatever." Christopher's first full-length book of poetry, Photosynthesis & Respiration is now available from Silver Bow Press. Follow him on Twitter: @xofr Facebook & Instagram: @christopher.clauss.


Choice by Jack Stauber


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page