Today's poem is by Jessica de Koninck

Labor Day

These hydrangea have turned all the colors of autumn.
Each an eye focused on the sofa, front door,
coffee table, and the window on the lake where the sky
drips melted beads into the water. The flowers
dry in an antique blue vase of hand blown glass.
My fondness now tempered, knowing before unions,
labor laws or machinery, children stoked kiln fires, sorted
colored sand. Local boys who might have gone to school
or played hooky and gone swimming, worked more cheaply
than men, took ill, died young. The cuttings and I
take refuge not far from Glassboro, Clementon, Millville,
and Clayton whose crucibles cooled decades ago.
When glory holes closed, with them went the artisans
who blew hot glass into pitchers and bowls,
bottles and doorknobs, who sheered and tweezed
frills into petals and leaves, none exactly like another,
each defect, each craze, each variation sharing
a secret of origin like the wind-stung hydrangea blossoms
crouching over the low retaining wall surrounding
Wesley Lake. Labor Day evening, all the glass
street lamp globes are reflected in the water
like little suns. Even loneliness seems a kind of joy.
Fireworks arc, ashes cascade. A light
drizzle dances on the pavement.

Copyright © 2017 Jessica de Koninck All rights reserved
from Cutting Room
Terrapin Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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