One of my procedures in poetry is to invert or literalize clichés and common sayings. Before this poem I was thinking of “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” And of what Randall Jarrell (a great favorite of mine, unjustly neglected) did with it early in World War II:
There set out slowly, for a Different World,
At four, on winter mornings, different legs …
You can’t break eggs without making an omelette
–That’s what they tell the eggs.