The day wind felled a weary oak,
we donned work aprons, boots,
took pails and spades in hand
and ventured out into the brumey cold
to scoop red clay, harvesting Earth.

That night we sat around a fire.
Flickering flames of warmth dispelled
the cold that seeped through dense
gray stone—walls caching sacred
secrets of a century and more.

We worked the clay that night, extracting
grit and stones, Gaia’s grainy
cells that would, ignored, destroy
our own creative efforts. Each night
thereafter, tediously, we toiled for perfection.

And when the day arrived to mold
and fashion terra-cotta worlds,
figures formed of toil and imagination,
clods of mud clung to our hands
that we discarded as extraneous.

Yet now and then we’d find a pebble.
Another proof that life eludes
the quest for flawless execution.

In the early 70’s I lived in a monastic setting at the Motherhouse of Les Petites Soeurs des Pauvres in St. Pern, Brittany, France. The above story is true. I am submitting this poem to Gay Cannon’s prompt at dVerse Poet’s Pub, as a metaphorical twist on life. I’m also linking it to my own prompt for this week’s Write2Day. The muse actually crawled out from under the covers this morning!

Motherhouse of the Little Sisters of the Poor