Dresden Cup  

 

Poland 1943  

Found  

by the roadside

three cups and three saucers 

 

spare beauties of shape

             some hesitant hand

brushed paint     over porcelain

blue rise of line            along curve onto lip

small wavers in the split   

                            into

          horns of a ram 

            fern tendrils rising in spring

        soft curls at the back 

                 of a young daughter’s head

 

  Carried them with her

                                          all through that war

    scalpel and morphine     

             her doctor-hands bloodied

                      sirens        Red Cross     ambulances   stretchers              

 

   her children in Canada                   safe                 so      little                      

                                                                                               could be saved.

 

England 1945

What endures is by chance –

the fragile are made

sacred by circumstance. 

 

 Canada 2021

I want 

 

hot black tea, this Dresden cup 

warm in my hands, steam pearling the air 

afternoon’s burnished half light  

 

to imagine 

 

the artist lifts a cup to the light

                 tips brush to paint 

        places one final dot

                                                                     below each tender curl.

Dresden Cup.jpeg

Photo by: Michele Green

From Hand Shadows, a program of poetry and dance, March 13, 2022 and November 14, 2021, Guelph, first published at www. https://www.collingwood.ca/culture-recreation-events/arts-programs/poet-laureate CollingWord, November 2019