Elizabeth draws a blowpipe
angles it into the crucible.
A shadow rises like a fish through the molten sea
until the tip touches and lava gathers on the end.
She carries the pipe holstered to her hip
rolls the gob on the sheet metal marver.
Cheeks blooming with breath
she blows into the tube.
The air appears as a growing egg
in the uterus of glass.
Elizabeth works at the bench
turning the pipe in her palm
the intricacy of her fingers
cross-hatched with grime.
The studio wavers within
the scrim of heat
defocusing concrete, sand, and steel.
Elizabeth is resolute
as glass annealing in the lehr.
Homesick for a place
she's never known, Elizabeth
sleeps in a bed of cricket song.
Behind her eyes the vessel forms
where she will bring her belongings.
Rain pelts the hotshop's corrugated roof.
Cornstalks in the south farm beat their yellow wings.
Oxygen rushes for the furnace.
Poems by John Waldman:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets