Once fashioned from mud
And hardened over flames
In the kiln of pain,
Now softened by the knowledge
That this too shall pass.
Once malleable,
Easy to transform;
From rare Egyptian vessel
To grotesque voodoo doll,
From heart of gold
To heart of fool’s gold,
Now holding stable
With the constancy
Of its own beat.
Once crushed by the potter
And left for dead
Too damaged to be salvaged,
Now piece by piece
Sticking together
With the glue of self-discovery.
Once wearing a clown’s
Stupid seasonal smirk,
Scratched into place
With careless pencil marks,
Now deriving heat
From the warmth
Of its own genuine smile.
Once slosh underfoot
And crawling with maggots,
Now exotic centrepiece
On marble coffee tables.
Once a grinning skull
In the potter’s closet,
Now sitting smug on the mantel,
An exquisite china doll
For all the guests to see.

© Claudette oduor