The Wounded Breakfast

The following is in response to Russell Edson’s “The Wounded Breakfast.”

This is the Mahlon Haines house in Hallam, Pennsylvania that you can rent out.”He looks up and sees a huge shoe ponderously mounting out of the earth.” ~Excerpt from “The Wounded Breakfast” by Russell Edson.

The conflict in this piece of flash prose is between an unnamed man and a huge shoe that looks like a ship, the old woman driving it, the passengers—a group of children. The man is trying to have breakfast, but he is distracted by this strange occurrence, which doesn’t seem to astound him that much until he looks back at his plate and “sees it’s been wounded, the yolk of one of his eggs is bleeding…” I like this short because of the images and how it is reminiscent of the there-one-was-an-old-woman-who-lived-in-a-shoe fairy-tale.

There are a lot of interesting images in this short. Edson describes the magical shoe having “thick laces dragging like ships’ rope on the ground” and when the shoe leaves it looks like “a monstrous snail squealing and grinding into the earth…” This detail gives the reader a front-row view of the story. Knowing that Russell’s father was a cartoonist, I picture the images in this short being part of a well-illustrated flipbook.

I am not sure about the point to the story—I can’t figure out what kind of insight I am supposed to get. I get that by “wounded” he is talking about how “the yolk of one of his eggs is bleeding”—the yolk of the egg has been broken and oozing—but I don’t know why I, as the reader, am supposed to really care about it. In other words, the ending of this short did not give me a flash of insight or realization.


About evinhughes

I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University. I have a bachelors degree in Information Technology and a bachelors in Writing and Linguistics.
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