am the fish fork: less than necessary. Useful, in my way, for the
but outmoded, quaint--most people don't know
what to do with me.
I am overlooked (or, worse, examined
curiously over charger plate and linens,
raised brow and scoffing--while water trembles in cut
soup spoons blush; someone demands, “What's
this thing for? What's this?”
as the salad cringes,
baleful, under its veil of vinaigrette).
I want to say:
Just leave me be, here, in the box with the blue-flocked
in the slot made to order, the only place I fit.
the sociable silverplate, I retreat beneath the napkin; I am
used. But sometimes, my tines gleam in candlelight, a
tipped toward flesh:
sometimes, I feel
like a knife.
year in midwinter, owls.
Sometimes the saw-whet. Sometimes the
Not night music, but unmistakable.
times I am alone.
It seems you are so seldom in our bed.
takes you: no night music,
Only the siren, traffic, hum
a hundred thousand generators.
Only the great horns of the
city take you.
Squalling. You ignore them, sleep.
lie sleepless. Screech owl yearns.
Every year in midwinter,
only the great-horned.
Owls. Wind-squall. I am alone.
After her husband died,
in the pockets of his worn pants,
the bottom of
the clothes-hamper, little caches
quarters in the car
or on a corner of his dresser,
nickels in a drawer,
under sofa cushions,
of mixed change
on his workshop shelves.
every room of her house,
something left behind.
alone at the kitchen counter
adding the currency
thirty married years:
one gold ring, a heap of coins.