The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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Questioning Plates

“Kintsugi is a Japanese traditional craft that repairs broken ceramics using lacquer mixed with gold . . . Rokujigen Kintsugi Studio created original plates with the adjoining cracks representing the national borders between neighboring countries.” – Kintsugi Pieces in Harmony


How did you know, dear dish, that you were ready to mend? 
What caused the old shatters? Is a shard a body, too? 
In you, my ancestral lands appear:
your left, a piece of Irish green-rimmed plate,
chicory and clover plainly trim its navel. 

Your right, a UK slice, a delicate, scalloped dish,
geraniums ornately painted in yellow, red, and blue. 
A river of gold now joins you, making one new plate.
Who makes the lacquer: does it tickle, burn, or soothe? 
I’m told you are more valuable than before

the break, shards now sublimated into a new being.
I purse my lips, and my mouth fills with questions: 
Can you still safely serve food? Do you feel the weight
of corned beef hash and baked beans? Do they 
mix together, or is your golden glue a berm? 

Three hundred years and three thousand miles separate 
me from the land of your imagined meal. 
Perhaps you are asking me questions, too: what shards
do you have? Are they destined for gold, or is their beauty
in the break? What meal would your plate hold? And with whom?

Melanie Weldon-Soiset has poetry in Clerestory, Sunlight Press, Tipton Poetry Journal, and others. A 2022 Washington Writers' Publishing House contest winner, Melanie is a #ChurchToo survivor, former pastor for foreigners in Shanghai, and Poetry Editor at Geez Magazine. Find her in real life biking on DC greenways. Find her online (including her poetry and prayer newsletter) at her website or on Twitter or Instagram @MelanieWelSoi.

Discover more from Melanie Weldon-Soiset.