Laura Scheffler Morgan

Romance, A Souvenir

A galaxy, maybe, I said once to a pitcher in Annapolis, 

ceramic the swirled ink colors of deep space − or sea − 

neither place I've been or will likely be, though both 


throw into sharp relief the hues of what's more 

familiar: a highway-side prairie, a garter snake, house-

fly, fallen weather-threaded maple leaf. Dirt and green, 


rust and lightning, gray-glazed transparent veins: all 

compose the clay that stirred two hands to tend a turning 

wheel, to shape − from pitching quick and long 


slipped fits, lifting then wrecking then raising again − 

a vessel, more or less. The cosmos or the ocean, or, 

somewhere in between, where in my hands the container 


shows how to hold: humble, proud and hollow, and full 

from the hip. How, also, best to spill from the lip − 

a pucker whetted with fire, flash-finished, art in beauty 


scarred domestic. In each slight press, small sigh, 

and voluptuous release, shines the hue, the heart of place, 

indelibly impressed: a handle on how heavy it is to rest, 


once formed in earnest or uncertainty, tempered in extreme. 

How shapely − in deluge, spark of dirt, stone flaring − 

to press on, awestruck; see praise embodied, touched.