Ode to Forks

Metal claws of the beast
we would much rather
be descended from —
no wimpy swinging in trees,
no equivocating opposable tine —

whether pitching hay or turning soil
their purpose is the same:
to bite what they cannot chew
& carry what they cannot keep.

There are forks also in roads,
in creeks & in tongues,
but for them
everything remains open.
How ironic then that the man-made fork
should epitomize inflexibility:
insurrectionary bedfellow of the torch,
stoker of digestive fires,
guard’s goad in an underworld
we hope never to descend to,
minimal lightning that we are,
tree gone wrong.

Series Navigation← Ode to a BucketOde to a Magnetic Screwdriver →

12 Replies to “Ode to Forks”

  1. whether pitching hay or turning soil
    its purpose is the same:
    to bite what it cannot chew
    & carry what it cannot keep.

    There are forks also in roads,
    in creeks & in tongues,
    but for them
    everything remains open.

    Fantastic. Reading these lines aloud is a pleasure.

  2. Thanks, Rachel! I hope my subsequent recasting in the plural doesn’t discombobulate you too much.

    (Note to self: use “discombobulate” in a poem.)

  3. dale – Really? Cool. (Actually, FWIW, my own favorite in the series so far was the next-to-most-recent one, “Ode to Scissors.” I love to write more like that one.)

    MB – Glad you liked that. It was my first thought, but I abandoned it for a while in favor of “impoverished lightning,” which eventually struck me as a little too much.

    Evan – Thanks. It’s nice to know that you’re getting something out of it – from my perspective, sometimes it seems downright inconsequential. But it’s a great mental exercise, so I’ll keep it up as long as I can.

  4. all that hay-pitching reminds me of:

    Ode to the Non-Dairy Creamer

    No more teats to pull
    No more hay to pitch.
    Just poke a hole in it
    And pour the son-of-a-bitch

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