NaPoWriMo: April 5 – Kiln


my mother must have doted
over my little baby feet
just as i have with my child.
counting tiny toes, caressing
arches that had not yet walked,
pressing them gently
into soft clay.

she even saved my first ceramic vase.
i was so excited to make it for her,
rolling the hard pottery clay
into snake-like ropes, coiling
them into a tower, painting it
with blue and pink and white.
i was eager to see it fired
in the kiln, to see her shine
when she filled it with flowers.

i was sad to see how my tower
melted in the heat, and leaned
to one side, the coils shifting
and cracking open until
it could not hold water.
the colors muted and dull.

but my mother did not mind.
i was always embarrased to see
that vase proudly displayed
on the bookshelf, next to
the pictures of our ancestors.
it was still there
as i packed up
her house

her body melted
and cracked open
in the heat of a kiln,
sending her atoms
back to the earth
to make new clay.

maybe next time she can
stand straight and shine
with bright colors


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