We are chipped, out-dated crockery –
Ill-prepared for useful service;
Wine leaks from our jagged cracks,
Making messes on the floor.
We try to mop it up with rags already soaked
From a hundred other spills.
Then a hand covers ours,
And spotless linen absorbs the filth,
Taking it in until nothing is left;
You pick us up – your broken treasures,
You remove our guilt;
You dust off our grimy souls,
And set us gently in places of honour –
Upon the shelves where your servants sit,
Waiting to pour a drink for their master.
The dishes may change over time –
Once earthen jugs are now glass, plastic;
But with each decade, each century,
Each tragic, tumbling breakage
Leaving dark stains on the floorboards,
You kneel and wipe up;
The soft-thumping of rag after rag
Becoming the voice of another story,
Booming throughout history:
My children, you are worth it.
~ Ilana Reimer