Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Life in the Sock Drawer” by Tricia Knoll. Ms. Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet retired from many years of communications work for the City of Portland. Her poetry has appeared in many journals including recently CALYX Journal, Cirque, and About Place Journal. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (B.A.) and Yale University (M.A.T.) Her chapbook Urban Wild came out from Finishing Line Press in 2014. She is trying (without success) to teach several neighborhood crows to say hello. For more information, see triciaknoll.com.
Life in the Sock Drawer
My striped socks flirt with fireplaces,
show offs that no one invites to dance
with others – neither tangos nor field hockey.
Though pretending to be bar-back gunslingers,
they are more like gymnasts who ride
cantering horses bareback in an empty tent.
The tribe of self-confident gray socks sees stripes
as flashes-in-the-pan, dreamers of giraffes
on bicycles, the sort that might admire Entertainment
Tonight. Grays believe they are born leaders,
trustworthy players of cellos who like algebra
and championship chess. Asked to go fishing,
they’d agree, even ice fishing. They do not share
their fear of cats or reveal volcano dreams
spurting lava and ash.
Nestled deeper, the whites
adore glossy ads for Etruscan coins
and beach volleyball teams of tall girls
in tank tops. They dream of skimming
over New York as Soaring Sockettes.
They are ill at ease with mud puddles,
dissonant chords, and original sin.
All pairs mingle in a rectangular night-scape
below my jewelry box. They never unravel
unlike-others, bully elders
about toe holes and loose ends,
or jostle for top of drawer.
The unchosen curl
like twin fetuses in a darkness
I never see.
Poet’s Notes: I like striped socks and can imagine their conversations with others in my sock drawer. I began this poem during a workshop with Paulann Petersen, Oregon's sixth Poet Laureate, who has inspired and encouraged many, many Oregon poets.
Editor’s Note: The personification of socks is entertaining, as is the subtle conceit that a sock drawer may say a great deal about the owner of the socks.