Iowa Writes

SARA LONDON
Spoon and Tree


What gladdens her is the spoon,
with its tiny saucer of remnants,
its slender shaft, scrubbed last—
and now the kitchen's clean.
Clean are the knives and forks
all akimbo in their drying cage
at the window. The spoon
leans alone toward light,
a backyard limb reflected
in its sunken belly, so a
liquid darkness tongues
its curves and bends
along its slender neck,
making the one tidying up blush
at this bed she's come upon —
refractive, gleaming, the old
dream of coupling
here portioned out
in such a strange
supper.

What gladdens her is the spoon,
with its tiny saucer of remnants,
its slender shaft, scrubbed last—
and now the kitchen's clean.
Clean are the knives and forks
all akimbo in their drying cage
at the window. The spoon
leans alone toward light,
a backyard limb reflected
in its sunken belly, so a
liquid darkness tongues
its curves and bends
along its slender neck,
making the one tidying up blush
at this bed she's come upon —
refractive, gleaming, the old
dream of coupling
here portioned out
in such a strange
supper.
            When the light is gone,
the immaculate house hushed,
she puts down her book
and returns, barefooted,
waking the wood planks
to the kitchen. The cupboard,
too, sighs, its ascending note
sliding wind-clean. And even
before shaking whole grains
into her midnight bowl,
she has reached out,
across the ticking, low-watt
world, her warm mouth
clamping itself wetly
around the cooled,
hard truth
of the spoon.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


SARA LONDON

Sara London received her B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1981 and her M.F.A. in poetry from the Writers' Workshop in 1985. She has had work published in The Iowa Review, Poetry East, and Mid-American Review. She teaches at Smith College.

"Spoon and Tree" appears in the current issue of The Iowa Review (37/1, Spring 2007).

This page was first displayed
on May 15, 2007

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