the possibilities of clay

There’s this bearded man I met
who loves clay. There must be

something of Adam in him, he is
that red, that ready. Between

his strong clay-colored palms
he rolls glistening balls of the stuff,

each its own small, malleable planet.
Then, before firing the beads, he thrusts

a wire through each from its north
to south poles. Kiln-hardened,

they will then be ready to offer themselves
for decoration—brilliant pigments

in wild and quirky designs
according to the artist’s

God-fired imagination. Glazed,
strung on strings, they will become

jewels hurled into the world to show
that humble earth can turn beautiful,

can have worth, can even bring in cash
for those with little else to sell.

-Luci Shaw


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