By Eleanor Ross Taylor
The fork lived with the knife
and found it hard — for years
took nicks and scratches,
not to mention cuts.
She who took tedium by the ears:
defiant stretched-out lettuce,
He who came down whack.
His conversation, even, edged.
Lying beside him in the drawer
she formed a crazy patina.
The seasons stacked —
melons, succeeded by cured pork.
He dulled; he was a dull knife,
while she was, after all, a fork.
Eleanor Ross Taylor, "Kitchen Fable" from Captive Voices. Copyright © 2009 by Eleanor Ross Taylor. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.
Source: Captive Voices (Louisiana State University Press, 2009)
Eleanor Ross Taylor was born in Norwood, North Carolina, and graduated from Women’s College, now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in 1942. While studying at Vanderbilt University, Caroline and Allen Tate introduced her to novelist Peter Taylor, whom she would marry in 1943. She was elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2009 and the Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2010 and lived for many years in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her poetry has been described as elegiac, lyric and feminine.
More Poems about Relationships
Back Up Quick They’re Hippies
That was the year we drove
into the commune in Cornwall.
“Jesus Jim,” mam said,
“back up quick they’re hippies.”
Through the car window,
tents, row after row, flaps open,
long-haired men and women
curled around each other like babies
and the babies themselves
wandered naked across the grass.
In the warmth of night I put feet to my plan: waited
for my brothers to sleep. They’d spent the day
sharpening their hooks, repairing the great net,
filling gourds with fresh water. They’d bundled
taro wrapped in leaves sitting below the cross seats.