I loved when we were young
and you’d let us practice kick your wheel,
our short legs stretching to reach.
Then when our muscles started burning
or we fell off the bench seat,
you’d take over
and it was like a queen taking her throne.
A click that made the universe fit.
You were happy there.
You’d give us extra bits of clay
to make fairy cups and saucers.
We’d squeeze out your sponges
and replace your water.
Hand you your wires and your wedges
and when the wheel finally slowed,
in place of that misshapen lump,
magic had happened while your hands flew and the wheel spun.
There was something beautiful,
something that had never existed in the entire world
until you molded and shaped it.
Breathed beauty into it.
But then the wheel stopped spinning
as the world turned to government mandated testing
and meetings and more paperwork.
We were a handful too—I know—as we got older,
trying to figure out who we wanted to be in the world.
Sometimes we made bad decisions and that pain
we caused stole away your creative spark.
You spent your time molding and shaping us
until we were things of beauty
and ready to go out of the kiln
and into the world.
We’re flourishing now—vessels filled
with all the love and hope and hard work you put into us.
But you were suffocating under the paperwork
that grew like poison ivy, choking trees,
hanging thick and dangerous from branches.
The trade for good health insurance was your creative spark.
Your fingers ached for clay.
Momma, I’m so proud of you.
For your strength, for your ability to know yourself,
to realize the crack that needed to be filled could be patched with clay.
So you ordered some. You bought glazes.
You took classes to reacquaint yourself with your lost creative side.
Now I bring my own children
and you teach them how to knead and flatten,
let them press stamps into the pliableness.
You show them that treasures can be made
instead of just found.
I love you,
Candice Marley Conner lives in Alabama and is mom to two amazing, creative kiddos. Her writing can be found at Mothers Always Write, Mamalode, and Babybug. She is represented by Lotus Lane Literary and has a MG and YA out on submission. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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