Verse > Carl Sandburg > Smoke and Steel > IV. Playthings of the Wind > 22. Jug
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Smoke and Steel. 1922.
  
IV. Playthings of the Wind
22. Jug
  
THE SHALE and water thrown together so-so first of all,
Then a potter’s hand on the wheel and his fingers shaping the jug; out of the mud a mouth and a handle;
Slimpsy, loose and ready to fall at a touch, fire plays on it, slow fire coaxing all the water out of the shale mix.
Dipped in glaze more fire plays on it till a molasses lava runs in waves, rises and retreats, a varnish of volcanoes.
Take it now; out of mud now here is a mouth and handle; out of this now mothers will pour milk and maple syrup and cider, vinegar, apple juice, and sorghum.        5
There is nothing proud about this; only one out of many; the potter’s wheel slings them out and the fires harden them hours and hours thousands and thousands.
“Be good to me, put me down easy on the floors of the new concrete houses; I was poured out like a concrete house and baked in fire too.”

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