ChrisHalf400Flute 02

 

 

Self

Self

my parents gave me a crystal vase
I filled it with gladiolas
and baby’s-breath
then placed it on the mantle
where it was knocked
over by the cat
and shattered

it is my job to pick up the pieces

it is my role to be supportive
even through such a loss

each small fragment is a prism
reflecting the incandescent light
into countless colors
that refract on the edges

I pick up one of the larger pieces,
a somewhat oval shaped fragment
and stare at its surface
it is like a single life
or one of a multitude of thoughts
that makes up a human being
I roll it between my thumb and index finger
as if I could memorize its outline
to find the pieces that connect to this one
and rebuild the vase
stone by stone
brick by brick

instead
I toss the fragment away
into the garbage

along with the rest of the pieces
until only particles
are left
a light dusting of crystal
coating the ceramic floor

but no matter how hard I try
I can’t seem to sweep up all of it
and for some time afterwards
a little dust thrives in the corners and the cracks
to remind me of what I once had--

my support for others
and my patience

and pretty soon
I visit a glimmering showroom
to buy another crystal vase
a spitting image of the original

I take the vase home
and gingerly
place it on the same mantle
and line it with flowers

the cat continues to roam the house
enjoying its dominion over the plants
and flowers in the house
biting and chewing
whatever it sees fit

and once more
my perfect shimmering,
my crystal vase is sent
to meet
the cold ceramic tile

© 2017 Chris Ludwig