My Desk, My Planet (poem)

Wanda Waterman


A writer’s desk is her planet, I’d mewed,

Hands on my hips; that’s how I’d sparked the feud.


Thus my defense: No place to write–

It leaves the pen a vagabond: sad plight!

To come to one’s own desk is to find healing,

And desklessness leaves such an empty feeling.


The sellist was a cellist

(Late romantic to Shostakovitch but nolatervitch).

I couldn’t come and get it, so he brought it–

Pristine, noix noire, gracefully bowed legs and a little drawer,

All neatly disassembled in the plush trunk of his car.


It’s not so big, he said; my sister used it to compose.

(A desk already haunted by clefs, notes, arpeggios!)


It’s exactly the size for the things I’ll place upon it, answered I.


And so it is – just big enough for flowers, lamps, and pie,

Quite big enough for pictures by Chagall,

For mindmaps and for steaming bowls of dahl,

For poems, for journaling, reviews,

For songs, for memes, for interviews,

For music, film, Earl Grey,

For finger sandwiches, for night and day.


There’s space enough for butterflies to land.


It’s very large my planet, and quite grand.

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