Poem — Julie Leibrich

The Jug


Almost an indecent act. Indelicate at least.
Yet as I wash away three hundred years of grime
I speed through light years of combustion.
Past the wars, the Regency and all
the Georges strung in line to
fling myself into the time of Anne.

How can it be that in my stainless sink
I scrub with Woolworth’s best
a small iconic jug hand thrown in 1710,
when they were just discovering
the joys of grass green glaze
on buff exterior?

A man and woman in earth‑coloured
weave run to work across the fields.
Her face ruddy with the sun;
he thinking of the long dark night ahead
after the clay is formed.

After the time of Marco Polo. But before
the coming of the Industrial Revolution
when the only noise across the hills
was one wheel turning to cast
this pot through centuries.

Julie Leibrich

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