Treasure Island

Morgan Michaels


Seven Basic Machines


'First the pulley. With these window-washers haul
themselves up to the tip-top or drop'.
'Yes', she said, with minimal interest. 'Next'.

'Then there's the lever. Useful for prising treasure'.
'Very well, she said, 'but I can't tell you how I try
never to pry'.

'Well, there's the wheel. Often invented, excellent for gliding
singly, in tandem, in trio or more'.
'Of course', said she, 'and number four'?

'Um', I said, starting to perspire,
and giving my brains a wrench-'the plane, if you desire'.
'I've never been inclined. Continue please'.

'The wedge', I said, recalling that
a wedge could not be beaten for
dividing night from day and dog from cat.

'Then there's the screw', I muttered, turning blue.
'Let's come back to that.
'Continue'.

'Lever, ah, pulley, plane, wedge, ah, screw, wheel,
What's last'? She thought and thought
and finally calmly cried: 'the high heel'!

Submitted: Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, February 08, 2012

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Comments about this poem (Seven Basic Machines by Morgan Michaels )

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  • Douglas Scotney (5/28/2013 11:42:00 PM)

    I take it that 'I' is saying, 'Let's come back to that.',
    'she' is saying 'Continue',
    and 'I' is saying, 'Lever, ah, ...What's last? '
    I think she was consciously trying to let out the most practical female invention.

    Thanks Johnny for alerting me to this very good one. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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