Your sixth birthday
is a token held tightly
in a secure pocket
of my consciousness, safe
from your spite and destruction
your droopy eyed swaying stance
your consuming desires
and drug store alliances.
You resuscitate my heart
with trust and clever lies
to watch it stop again,
like a sea sponge injected
with endless amounts
of salt water tears
tainted with pharmaceuticals
and membrane clogging chemicals.
But I am a glass sponge, love
made of silica, thriving in the sea
rapidly conducting electrical impulses
capable of living for 15,000 years
incapable of shattering on the reef
or forgetting the memory
on your sixth birthday.
On a down day in a down year, I noticed a dried-up sponge under the kitchen sink. (I keep them on hand for cleaning dirty garden pots and planters.) I put the sponge in my hand and studied it. I felt like a sponge metaphor—lightweight, going nowhere without assistance, past saturation, and the ability to be wrung out and rinsed with clean water.
Creativity grows in interesting ways; the image of the old, grungy sponge evolved to a sponge made of glass; pretty but breakable, seemingly useless and incapable of cleansing. I liked the name "glass sponge" and searched the net to see if there was already a poem with this name. Fortunately there wasn't, and fortunately I learned glass sponges are sea sponges made of silica. Their resilience and longevity, despite their fragile appearance, became the encompassing metaphor for me, the poem and the chapbook.
Original Publisher: Camroc Press Review
Reprinted with permission in The Glass Sponge
Publisher: Finishing Line Press