Scattered pieces of glass, so many

tiny shapes, colors. At first

they seem easy to the fingers

given the job of rearranging

but, when trying to lift just one –

just one particularly small piece,

an astonishing cut surges more blood

than what seems possible.


So, the artist learns to rectify them carefully,

using tools she’s come to master  

over long years of study,

into designs more pleasing

to her sensibilities.

Yet, every time she turns her back,

the bits rearrange themselves again

into the chaos of their origin,

the way they were before she began.  


Some lie overtly blade side up,

protrude like signs, edges glinting

against the light;

Taste me with your fingers.

I will not be managed, cannot be

trifled with.


The artist keeps trying to form a rose.

But, now, questioning

the rightness of her vision,

she considers whether she should just pour out

the hot liquid bubbling resin

over all of them at once,

just as they had fallen naturally

against the black mat of memory.


Before realizing she’s made any decision, she spills

a flow of pitch she didn’t know she had, a mess

of acceptances.

The transparent tar cools almost instantly,

seals the shards into riotous patterns,  

swirls of mishap.


    Return to Poetry page

© Copyright 2005 Susan M. Botich