Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Gold-plate goblets freckled
with tarnish, disconsolate
pajamas, infant shoes, curling
irons, somebody’s ancient

block flute, a candlestick grove,
bakelite coasters, egg poachers,
7 rubber sandals. Scruffy dolls
and accessories, board games

from whose battered boxes
children still look up with glee.
Two bald lamps, a basketball
and dumbbells, a toaster’s chrome

full of early leaves, and tilted
like a grimy satellite inside
a crate, a two-stroke engine.
Now at last admitted to my

neighbor’s back lawn, which
I’ve longed to cut across for years.
I see a tuft of grass and violets,
violets, growing, up in that
elm’s clavicle, a little island
world in the air, where the trunk
divides. I wouldn’t know how
to tell her of the delight I find

in this. But I think I’ll buy that
small stack of teaspoons, just
so I can linger, picking up this
language, whose every word has

finally toppled over in one case
or tense or mood.  Everything as is.

- Robert Farnsworth

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