Self-Portrait in Progress

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Self-Portrait in Progress

By Jacob Senghas


Exhaustion was an old friend;

Thousands of mutual moments over a midnight kiln

Made them as lovers, their embrace personal,


Hardship held close, welcomed

Into her bones, not a humbled harbinger,

A triumphant town crier, telling

Of the harvest festival;

The dirt-scratchers return,

Laden with sustenance.


She stoops,

Not posture but fascination;

Ancient hands that, with the morning paper, grapple,

The wheel makes steady and young.

With certainty, the smooth surface scoring.

Before those milky eyes the clay dances,

Twisting to a tempestuous tune,

Foot tapping in time with a

Meter mad and mesmeric,

Lips bend to bare brown clay

Bones of earth and fire, but

Skin of sweat and heaving breath

She slowly stills,

Half motion, half serenity.

Spinning Earth at rest.

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