The mess we make

broken pitcher

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


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