It's just poetry, it won't bite

A Disquisition on Spoons


07.30.10 Posted in words to linger on by

Harris Tobias writes fiction as well as poetry in Charlottesville VA. 

You can order his new book, The Greer Agency (ATTM Press), and his old books at Amazon. His most recent appearance here was with Love by the Numbers. Harris doesn’t consider himself much of a poet, but his readers at vox poetica would form a different opinion. His disquisition today will make you laugh. And it might just answer the age-old mystery: why did the dish run away with the spoon?

A Disquisition on Spoons

By Harris Tobias

Pity the lowly spoon
His portly bowl and comical stem
Make a mockery of finesse
The roly-poly jester on the genteel lace
Looks out of place.
No one messes with the knife and fork
The King and Queen of cutlery
Silverware’s royal couple.
If the knife is D’Artagnan
And the fork is Marie Antoinette,
Then the spoon is Falstaff, the buffoon.
A knife can cut your heart out
And a fork can pierce your flesh
Weapons once
They are butcher’s tools
The rapier and the pitchfork
But thinly disguised
Tools designed for meat
Humorless, utilitarian and feared.
But the spoon?
The good-natured spoon
Is of a peaceful bent, meant for
Soups and puddings and serving
The servile and humble spoon
The only way a spoon can harm us is
By loving us too much
By shoveling too much ice cream at us
Now that’s the way to go
Stuffed and fat and jolly
Dessert spoon clutched firmly in your hand
You lie belly up gasping at the ceiling
Arteries clogged, unable to breathe
As fat and round and insensate as the spoon.

What the spoon lacks in stature,
It makes up for in variety.
From baby spoon to ladle
From demitasse to table
The spoon’s mother was not the spade
As some would tell
No not the shovel but the shell
A form that nature made
Gentle, smooth, and round
The spoon family sends you greetings
Come and dine with us they call
Our jolly companions from cradle to grave.



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