Four Found Objects

Poem by Rachel Hadas

One tiny Neolithic-looking deer
(except it’s plastic) with one shorter leg;
one hardboiled speckled brownish breakfast egg;
one broken lock still sprouting a stuck key;
one plastic wedge-shaped nameless whitish object
form a small, ill-assorted company.
But not ill-natured. See the quadruped
trustingly lean against the metal bolt
as if it were his manger. The oblong
plastic forms a little inclined plane
or ramp for things to move on, up or down;
and on the shiny brown
lacquer of the table in this room
where each of us is wrestling with a poem,
the egg resides in perfect dignity.
Each of these objects casts its individual
shadow. The deer’s ghost twin
stands upside down beneath it, while the broken
key juts like a cannon
on a shadow field. The cautious wedge
is only sparsely shaded; but three shadow
eggs are nesting plumply on the table.