April 16: Amphorae
Jars of clay to transport precious commodity
fueling an ancient economy
bearing gifts of golden oil and ruby wine
that cleanse, heal, beautify
and light the lamps at night.
Wheel-thrown terracotta pots
inked with their maker’s mark
stamps of ownership still visible on shards
that litter land and sea
a thrill for modern archeology.
Earthen vessels with inner skin of resin
relieved of their libation
and not worth sending back
re-used for human wastes and ashes
if deemed fit for even that.
Humble ceramics with height and heft
a mouth, a lip, a narrow neck
crooked arms on shoulders
oval belly, slender feet
fragile though strong, temporary though concrete.
It’s no wonder the Apostle compared you to the human form
whose body houses treasure intangible, poured out but not consumed
an eternal soul that does not flatten when pressed
nor despair when distressed
as the living raise their voices to attest.