Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1

At Hald Hovedgaard Estate

Medieval Writing Desk
The guest whose father has died
describes his last gasp—huhp,
she says, breathing in quickly.

What kind of talk is that?
(It is only one person at table
who hears.) The writing desk

stands in the background, inert,
its oak slab stuck out like a tongue,
purely for show.

There is a blotter, and some writing
still depressed in it. “The image,
however good, however Godlike,

is not God,” it will be revealed,
later that night, by the rubbing
they shush over it.