by Angie DeCola
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 now 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 dry and viscous.
Basket’s as mistaken as a misread cue card—
muskrat instead of whisker, mascara for mosquito.
Basket feels as much a quitter
as the secondhand guitar—two unused
props in their corners, gritty and tired
on the grained pine planks.
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.
Angie DeCola’s poems have most recently appeared in Crazyhorse and Copper Nickel. Assistant poetry editor at storySouth, mother, and freelance pastry chef, Angie currently resides in the tiniest little town she’s ever lived in, in southern Michigan. Her poem “Basket” was first published, in a slightly different version, in The Greensboro Review, and is in the process of reinventing itself as a children’s picture book.