An Omelette

One day young captain Jonathan,
he was eighteen at the time,
Captured a Pelican
On an island in the Far East
In the morning,
This Pelican
of Jonathan’s
Laid a white egg
and out of it came
a Pelican
Astonishingly like the first.
And this second Pelican
laid in its turn
A white egg,
from which came inevitably
Another
who did the same again.
This sort of thing can go on
A very long time,
if you don’t make an omelette.

Robert Desnos: Chantefleurs, Chantefables
Translated from the French by Elizabeth McGovern

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