He was the one that even suggested
I try to glue it back
I thought I’d be making something new
some abstract mosaic
from the wreckage

I’d failed the matriarchs
my grandmother
her mother
the dishes passed down
a few just didn’t make it still intact
in their journey across the Pacific

He says it’s not my fault
I packed them well
those guys
they just throw the boxes around
don’t really care

And now
he’s slipped the glue out of my hands
has casually overtaken
the piece-together project
I gladly surrender
to his desire
to match the seams
which is hard
when hundred-year old pottery
goes to shards

I love his exacting efforts
celebrate with him
each piece
one by one
as they stay in place
leaving us with only
a pile of thin shreds
millimeter shavings
of color
he tries to match
to the dish surface

toothpick in hand
he gently edges them
minute fractions
nano scale proportions
“ahh! I got another one!”

when we are left
to nearly dust
we reach our stopping point
he considers ways to treat the surface
so you can’t see the cracks

It’s ok
I tell him
let’s not try to hide them
I don’t know the tales of this bowl before me
but I know it has a story now
how after a trip across the ocean
they got shaken
but the ever-diligent Czech
pieced it together
with a smile

This bowl’s going to hold
hands of bananas
overflow with lilikoi and limes
live now
at our table


Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

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