‘Tuning Fork’ by Ruby Robinson

Tuning Fork

Lifting the lid, you’d tell me:
once the fork is struck,

the initial blade of overtones
quieten to one note

composed of vibrations
undetectable by the human

eye, almost silent to the ear.
I always loved the bit

about the shattered tooth,
the thrill when you lifted

the steel close to my cheek
so that I could almost feel,

as you explained it, sound waves
from each prong of the fork

cancelling each other out.
I remember our voices, raised

against each other, amplified
by the walls of this house, recall

the function of the resonator,
as simple as a table top, to which

the handle of the fork is pressed,
or a hollow wooden box.
(winning poem in the 2010 Sheffield Hallam University competition ‘Words on the Wall’.)
Ruby Robinson lives in Sheffield, where she completed her MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. Her debut collection is to be published by Pavilion Poetry (Liverpool University Press) in 2016.