—Simon Pearce Glass, Quechee, Vermont
for Jane, Kate, Maureen, and Sally
Five women watched as one man’s breath inflated
the molten glass, one man spun it in flame,
one trimmed and shaped it. Expertly translated
by patient craftsmen, ash and sand became
a useful vessel and a work of art,
exhaled and fired and molded into being.
Each piece required each man to do his part,
a deft alliance nurturing and freeing
both elegance and strength. Each woman bought
a finished bowl that caught the autumn light
and scattered it—a slow-baked prize, well-wrought,
like their decades-long bond. With eyes as bright
as autumn sun and just as sure to fade,
they savored all that breath and warmth had made.
Editor’s Note: Every artist knows that the act of creation is a work of hope, and this sonnet’s narrative breathes life into what happens after the work has found its way home.