My body is like a lost spoon. Somewhere
at the back of the cutlery drawer
it has managed to lose itself in the clutter.
Is causing trouble again.
I can hear it cavorting with knives,
clattering against their blades.
Sweet-hearting them. One of their bone
or mother-of-pearl handles
bunts a comforting note in its bowl.
Now it's twanging the whisk,
weaving in and out of the egg-slice,
elbowing corncob holders. Such a flirt.
It's chattering up their knobbles.
Oh no, not the tin opener!
It's riding the wheels round and round
like being on that playground thing
next to the slide and the swings
I can see through my end ward window,
pushing along on one elegant silver limb.
And why not? We both know it's all bluff.
Let it have fun, practise being something
that can't be packed in a box.
Engraved with my copperplate name
it was there when I was christened
and has circled beside me since.
Soon enough it'll be asked
to stick out its tongue and say Ah
then filled with a measured dose
of something surprisingly weighty.
One day I'll bid it be still and it will -
perhaps something surprisingly sweet.
Pat Borthwick trained in Fine Art. She was the recipient of several YA Writers' Bursaries and an Arts Council Award to explore experimental writing for sound broadcast.
Her first full-length collection of poetry Between Clouds and Caves was published in 1989 by Littlewood Arc. She has since published four further pamphlet collections, and two books of poetry with integral CD sonic portraits (generated by long term residencies on The Wolds and within the Howardian Hills AONB). Sound has always been an important element in Pat's work.
She has been Writer in Residence for a canal, a coalmine, a cabbage and a chalk cliff as well as working in prisons and hospitals, libraries and schools.
Pat was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in September 2003 and has her second full-length collection Swim coming out with Mudfog this October.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Lost Spoon © 2004 Pat Borthwick: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.
Site designed and maintained by Cornwell Internet
This page last updated 9th February 2005