Spare—it's anything but,

but comes from the French

for spare, as in save;

it saves space. But the French

in their perversity call it surtout.

On reading a poem on looking up

this word, I looked it up, but not

in Webster's Unabridged.

Google brought me etymology

and what is more, images:

lovely Seussian structures.

Far from ensorcell or ensoul

its neighbors here

are chandelier, compote, and goblet.

One specimen in particular

with fluted edges, dangling crystals

caught my eye and I cared nothing

for the outrageous cost;

I put it on my wish list

at notorious Neiman Marcus,

in fact created a wish list

just to wish for this.

Wishing is free

and saves even more space.

— Cleveland Wall

©2011 Cleveland Wall

Reprinted by the Philadelphia Inquirer with author's permission.

Cleveland Wall is a poet, mail artist, and founding member of thepoetry performance group FOUR. Her work has appeared in New Purlieu Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Möbius magazine, and elsewhere. She is an editor and sometime visiting poet with Poetry Writers in the Schools. She lives in Bethlehem.