Once held a pile
of biscuits. Since then sits
still in the corner, a tabby
watching marbles roll
and sound across the floor.
Next to the table not on it,
basket’s useless as ripped pages
of a tablet, an unchewed chiclet,
a glass of sweet muscat when the meal
needs something thick and dry,
a misread cue card—muskrat
for whisker, mascara for mosquito.
Basket feels as much a quitter
as the Mexican guitar—two unused
props in the corner, gritting their teeth
against the grained pine planks beneath them.
Basket needs purpose—to fall like Niagara, to topple
the notion of blending the way Fallingwater house does.
Basket wants to go back to the prairie, to belong
there with the prairie dogs, who might be prey
for cliques of birds and cats but still
prove themselves daily, digging hole after hole,
rising out of them to scan the grasses and,
in the nick of time, going under again.
Basket doesn’t know what it’s here for.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro