Denver Bar Association
September 2013
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Denver Lawyers' Arts & Literature Contest: Poetry Writing Winner Erin Agee, "Twelve"


Erin Agree

Erin Agee is the law clerk for 19th Judicial District Chief Judge and Division One Water Judge James F. Hartmann. Although she enjoys many kinds of writing, Agee is particularly inspired by the way poetry challenges her to express ideas concisely and deliberately. Her favorite poets expose new ways of seeing the world through simple and direct articulation. In her poetry, Agee endeavors to include only the deliberately chosen word, but she also appreciates the raw diction that an uncensored, unedited poem offers. “Twelve” is a mix of these two impulses and reflects her interest for exploring the poetic landscape in the company of that which is common and simple.


This morning I opened an egg carton
all in rows, all different sizes.
I chose the biggest one, against
my inclinations,
and tapped it twice on the skillet rim,
as though
I’d knocked on egg doors many
times before.
It let me in, or better said, it let
itself out—
slid thick and golden like
dandelion mucous
into my frying pan where it popped
and squeezed itself
into a meal, then lay prostrate on
the pan.
It was then I noticed
I had put its broken shell back into
the box,
as if it could take its place again among
the twelve.

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