'Marilyn on Couch' by Myra Roberts
'Marilyn on Couch' by Myra Roberts

Marilyn Monroe’s Toaster

Marilyn Monroe’s toaster
placed on the auction block
at Sotheby’s. Curved silver
reminiscent of white shoulders,
and red, luminous lips.

Slender fingers
slipping white bread
into slots,
polished pearl tips
pressing the slide and
adjusting the knob.

Marilyn waits,
pours steaming coffee,
adds two spoons of sugar,
and cream, cream like
her complexion, her thighs
in the photograph—
up-blown skirt.

Toaster pops, Marilyn
reaches for a plate,
knife and butter.
Butters warm toast,
licks her fingers.

Perhaps, a few crumbs
still remain in the steel-slotted tray.
A bidder raises his paddle,
buying more than a fifties toaster.

Lorraine Walker Williams

This poem began when I heard a piece on the radio that Marilyn Monroe’s toaster was up for auction. I tried to visualize Marilyn touching this ordinary kitchen object and the poem became the lens for this 20th century icon preparing breakfast.

Marilyn Monroe’s Toaster appears in my book, Fire in the Grass.