Friday, May 14, 2010

The Broken Bowl

The Broken Bowl by M. J. Macmillan

It was only an ordinary bowl
On a shelf in a potter’s shop
So common that, when she first saw it
She passed by and didn’t bother to stop

But something caught her eye as she passed again
And she took the bowl into her hand
The weight was good, the size was right
But the feel of it was grand

As she stood there, holding this common bowl
Old memories began to stir
It felt like the bowls she’d known as a child
When she left, the bowl was still with her

She took the bowl home and used it for years
To serve up her sumptuous fare
Whether dinner for two or a Thanksgiving feast
That bowl would always be there

The bowl was her favorite, as everyone knew
For she used it and washed it with care
A generous soul, she loaned many things
But this bowl she never would share

Life is uncertain and fragile at times
They say it’s all in the cards
One day came a slip, a scream and a crash
And her treasured bowl became pottery shards

As she stood there, holding the broken bits
Tears of sorrow slid down her face
For in the cupboard where had stood her precious bowl
There would now be an empty place

Sometimes, in ourselves, things get broken
And they leave us in an empty place
And when we’re not whole, there’s a weakness
That makes it hard to keep up with life’s pace

Broken pottery cannot be mended
When you break it, you throw it away
But pottery, like people, can be born again
And why not? We’re both made of clay

Just as a bowl can be shaped and formed
And rise again from the potter’s hand
So also can people, when they’ve fallen apart
Be lifted and shown again how to stand

He’ll provide for us that lift and help
For we’re all a son or a daughter
Formed with hope and care and love
By the hand of the MASTER potter

from 'Poems for the Common Man' by M. J. McMillan

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