To separate yolk from white My mother used half the shell Like a little cup.

Sometimes she used a device That safely nestled the yolk While the white overflowed Into bottomless crevasses And ultimately into a waiting receptacle

I’ve seen chefs use their hands Catching the egg contents And sifting them between their fingers — Gently — Never breaking a yolk As is my wont.

I rather think that God uses the hand method Sifting body and spirit at the moment of death In His mighty hand So that one overflows to the waiting earth — ashes to ashes dust to dust — And the other ascends

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