Shattered glass in the street at Maryland and 10th:
smashed sand glittering on a beach of black asphalt.
You can think of it so: or as bits of broken kaleidoscope,
or as crystals spilled from the white throat of a geode.
You can use metaphor to move the glass as far as possible
from the raised hands that threw the bottle
for their own reasons of amusement, or despair, or the desire
to make a cymbal crash in the ears of midnight sleepers.
Or you can use words like your needle, the probe curious
in tough heels, your bare feet having walked in risky places.
You can work to the surface the irritant, pain, the glass
sliver to blink in the light, sharp as a question.
Minnie Bruce Pratt, “Sharp Glass” from The Dirt She Ate: New and Selected Poems (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003). Copyright © 2003 by Minnie Bruce Pratt. Used with the permission of the author.
Source: The Dirt She Ate: Selected and New Poems
(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003)