View Archives by:


The Chairs are on the Table

Tracey Knapp

I wish I had the chance to say
Oh, little life, you unpolished spoon!
but I’m afraid that this is not the poem.

Don’t expect a jar of fireflies here,
no sexual orchids or doorways of importance,
no moths over candlelight.

There won’t be an ocean
so no looking down in it
and definitely no drowning.

However, I hope you find
the absence of children refreshing.
Also, there are no understated bullet wounds.
Sometimes irony is terrifying.

Perhaps you would comment on fear
in an explication of this poem.
Maybe a revision would result
in the deletion of all speculative adverbs.

I can say for sure
the speaker is aware of her contradictions.
Nonetheless, she is committed
to representing the truth as accurately as possible:

She wanted to end with the line
Today I mopped the floor vigorously and it’s still dull
but afraid there’s more to it,
she’d rather not consider the floor

needs more mopping—
a new mop entirely.

Tracey Knapp

Read Bio

Author Discusses Poems