A Gift of Pottery

…to my Mother, on Mother’s Day 2009

I recall a gift of pottery,
a lumpy bowl
wrought from a child’s hand
in the errant moments of a school day.

A little boy
that labored with careful craft
for less than an hour’s span.

Clever small hands
pressing the awkward shape
into a crooked circle with uneven ridges.

with his art
of so few minutes
and even less of himself divested,
he readies a brush to bring forth a smoothing gloss.

Sweeping globs of glaze to his finished work,
with attentions turned more towards basic
competence than surpassing aptitude,
oblivious to the fires of the kiln, bringing
solid resonance out of tentative contours.

his task complete
his obligation met
he hastens homeward
with a gift of pottery in clever small hands.

Here, mother, is a

gift of pottery

I made for you.


are anxious nine month
of bewildered torment
of bitter pain and Labor.

Here are sore throat Dawns and long feverish Midnights
spent bedside with cool rags.

Here are double-shifts,
late nights leading into early mornings,
back and arms and legs and feet sore.

Here are the million stories and songs heard,
rhythmic and breathing,
with head upon breast.

Here are thousands upon thousands
of tantrums and defiances
hurled unbidden and undeserved.

Here are one hundred rash words,
spoken thoughtless
with vile contempt and disrespect.

Here are hopes dashed and
dreams unfulfilled and
potential squandered.

All of these and none of these are held within an empty ruddy bowl that glistens in the Sun.

Here, again,

a little boy

hands his mother

a meager gift of pottery.

His thoughts now
as they were then…
that such a meager trifle
could ever make us even.


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