Words

The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word

recovered itself, began to spread as grass, forced   

as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where  

patience looked at grief, where warfare ceased   

eyes curled outside themes to search the paper   

now gleaming and potent, wise and resilient, word   

entered its continent eager to find another as   

capable as a thorn. The nearest possession would   

house them both, they being then two might glide   

into this house and presently create a rather larger   

mansion filled with spoons and condiments, gracious

as a newly laid table where related objects might gather   

to enjoy the interplay of gravity upon facetious hints,   

the chocolate dish presuming an endowment, the ladle   

of galactic rhythm primed as a relish dish, curved   

knives, finger bowls, morsel carriages words might   

choose and savor before swallowing so much was the   

sumptuousness and substance of a rented house where words   

placed dressing gowns as rosemary entered their scent   

percipient as elder branches in the night where words   

gathered, warped, then straightened, marking new wands.

“Words” by Barbara Guest from The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest (Wesleyan University Press 2008). © 2008 by Barbara Guest and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.