Laughing With One Eye: Schnakenberg
The kitchen’s old-fashioned planter’s clock portrays A smiling moon as it dips down below Two hemispheres, stars numberless
as days, And peas, tomatoes, onions, as they grow Under that happy sky; but though the sands Of time put on this vegetable
disguise,The clock covers its face with long, thin hands.Another smiling moon begins to rise.We rift in the small rowboat an
hour before Moring begins, the lake weeds grown so long they touch the surface, tangling in an oar.
You’ve brought coffee, cigars, and me along.You sit still, like a monument in a hall,Watching for trout. A bat slices the air Near
us, I shriek, you look at me, that’s all,One long sobering look, a smile everywhere But on your mouth. The mighty hills shriek
back.You turn back to the lake, chuckle, and clampYour teeth on your cigar. We watch the black Water together. Our tennis
shoes are damp.Something moves on your thoughtful face, recedes.Here, for the first time ever, I see how,Just as a fish lurks
deep in water weeds,A thought of death will lurk deep down, will show One eye, then quietly disappear in you.Its time to go.
Above the hills I see The faint moon slowly dipping out of view,
Sea of tranquility, sea of serenity,Ocean of storms…
to row, the boat Skimming the lake where light begins to spread.You stop the oars, midair. We twirl and float.Im in the kitchen.
You are three days dead.A smiling moon rises on the fertile ground,White stars and vegetables. The sky is blue.Clock hands
sweep by it all, they twirl around,Pushing me, oarless, from the shore of you.
Organized in 3 poems (strophes), Medium-sized, long extended stophe, then 5 lines, The “old-fashioned planter’s clock”
,Has to do with when to plant- doesn’t just give time of day- it goes days, months, years, - represents the power of it involving
remorselessness- she feels that it’s inappropriate that it has a smiling face, when it should have a sad face; at complete variance
with how she feels,She cannot stop it from smiling, but she is incredibly sad-represents the antithesis, Happy sky- poem begins
with total ironic displacement- she has to supply the melancholy/sadness that the clock and sky don’t, It’s indifferent to her
loss, the thin hands of the clock are too thin to block the smiling moon & happy sky, Life goes on; relentless motion of time
strophe- perfect present tense, memory- her and her father go night fishing- pleasurable memory- only her and her
father went- not her sisters,“he brought coffee, cigars, and me”, she sees something, but can’t quite explain it,“something…”
shows melancholy and projecting forward to te present, she now can describe what she saw on her father’s face- metaphor to
the fish, looking back she can now tell that it was death she saw I his face- something lingering; he wants to enjoy the time he
has, yet he knows he’s dying- the little girl can’t tell, but now she knows that’s what she saw in his face, its time to go- double