Skip to content

glass :: robert pinsky

by on December 3, 2016

Waterlike, with a little water
Still visible swirled in the bottom:

Cupped vitreous measure
Here in my hand.

Seemingly solid, a liquid
Sagging over centuries
As in the rippled panes
Of old buildings, a viscid
Trace of time’s
Imperceptible pressure.

Nearly invisible. Deceptive,
Clear, breakable—the splinters
And fragments drawing blood
From the unwary.

Ancestral totem substance:
My one grandfather
Cleaning store windows
With squeegee and bucket,
The other serving amber
Whiskey and clear gin over the counter,
His son my father
An optician, beveling lenses
On a stone wheel. The water
Dripping to cool the wheel
Fell milky in a pale
Sludge under the bench
Into a galvanized bucket
It was my job to empty,
Sloshing the ponderous
Blank mud into the toilet.

Advertisements

From → poems

Comments are closed.