Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present "Cleaning Up" by Tricia Knoll. Ms. Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet with an inclination toward "eco-poetry." Her chapbook, Urban Wild, looks at the interaction of humans and wildlife in urban habitat. She is a big fan of online journals for accessibility and has placed more than 120 poems in online journals. Website: triciaknoll.com.
Reroll dry dough to shape one more gingerbread man.
Scatter soggy arugula for the hens.
Line the garbage pail with yesterday’s funnies.
Shake an apron full of flour to the four winds.
Marble makers working by hand do the same.
They heat a bit of clear glass on the rod,
then roll it in the powder, scraps and crumbs
of unused glass from a day’s fire in the furnace.
A flake of red. A dust of blue. That day’s colors
float like polka-dot clouds in a clear sky.
Each end-of-day-cloud-swirl marble is one of a kind, fruits
that old German craftsmen seldom sold.
They gave them away
to children near the glassworks.
Poet's Notes: "Cleaning Up" is from a book-length manuscript I'm working on, Gathering Marbles. Gathering Marbles is about aging . . . and about marbles. Not losing them, but holding them up in wrinkled fingers and repurposing them from toys for play to see how glass reflects light. In recent months I have bought some vintage marbles, including old German handmade marbles, on E-Bay. Little glass bowls of marbles sit in several rooms in my house. My favorites are German latticino swirls.
Editor's Note: The imagery here is vivid, enhanced by the poet's clever use of subtle rhyme and alliteration. The poetic conceit is interesting, and the message is at once civic minded and instructive. The ending, with the image of the little children receiving the one-of-a-kind marbles, adds just the right amount of sentiment.
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