A Late Writer’s Desk

They couldn’t give it away, I guess, so left it by the side of the road, where, obdurate, it warps. No gnawed pencils now, no fingers drumming— just catkin loads …

Different windows showing different people doing various activities
Illustration by Jeannie Phan

They couldn’t give it away, I guess,
so left it by the side of the road,
where, obdurate, it warps.
No gnawed pencils now, no fingers drumming—
just catkin loads

floating across this escritoire,
nailed after Oberon’s band
skewed Snug and Quince’s vision:
an improv, overnight effort
planed with a moonstruck hand,

its driftwood-assortment legs
unanswerable as a colt’s.
Scrapyard rescue, no single
edge flush—three fraying planks,
three widths, burled with gunk-smeared bolts.

Not for a codicil flourish
or crisp blueprint. No pressed wood–and–glue,
but a landing strip for particulars
of uncertain provenance—
not a board true, for the true.

This appeared in the September 2014 issue.

Elise Partridge
Elise Partridge wrote Fielder’s Choice and Chameleon Hours.
Jeannie Phan
Jeannie Phan (jeanniephan.com) draws for Quill & Quire and the New York Times.

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