Fish Fork

I am the fish fork: less than necessary. Useful, in my way, for the tableside filet
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,
and dismissed--with raised brow and scoffing--while water trembles in cut crystal;
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 lining,
in the slot made to order, the only place I fit.

Amid the sociable silverplate, I retreat beneath the napkin; I am seldom
used. But sometimes, my tines gleam in candlelight, a latent sharpness
tipped toward flesh:
sometimes, I feel like a knife.

Summer 2004 Issue

Winter 2004 Issue

Summer 2003 Issue

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


Every year in midwinter, owls.
Sometimes the saw-whet. Sometimes the little-eared.
Not night music, but unmistakable.

Many times I am alone.
It seems you are so seldom in our bed.
City takes you: no night music,

Only the siren, traffic, hum
Of a hundred thousand generators.
Only the great horns of the city take you.

Squalling. You ignore them, sleep.
But I lie sleepless. Screech owl yearns.
Every year in midwinter, only the great-horned.

Owls. Wind-squall. I am alone.


Small Change

After her husband died, she kept
finding coins
in the pockets of his worn pants,
at the bottom of
the clothes-hamper, little caches
of quarters in the car
or on a corner of his dresser,
rolled nickels in a drawer,
loose pennies
under sofa cushions, jars
of mixed change
on his workshop shelves.

In every room of her house,
something left behind.
She sits alone at the kitchen counter
adding the currency
of her thirty married years:
one gold ring, a heap of coins.

Ann E. Michael is the author of More than Shelter, a chapbook of poetry available from Spire Press (www.spirepress.org). She is also a librettist, essayist and educator, currently teaching at DeSales University in PA and working as a resident artist-in-the-school through the PA Council on the Arts, from whom she recevied a fellowship in Poetry (1998). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Natural Bridge, the Bitter Oleander, The Comstock Review and others. Her website is www.annemichael.com.

Copyright 2004, Ann E. Michael. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.