The Dust That Settles Between Sculptures

When you think of all the time spent constructing a life,
each scene cast in its fragile plaster mold
and then carefully chiselled and sanded away
so the finished piece can find its own path in the world

out there beyond the workshop’s doors, where it
will age with elements outside your control,
sometimes you dwell on the dust that settles
on your tools and sticks between the floorboards

like a heavy mist. But you cannot stay in that malaise
and have your work succumb to shadows;
The record of this day you must too erase,
where those two sets of footprints,

yours and your life’s work
smudged there in the pale grit at the door,
lead out, and only one set, yours,
returns. If not erase, then at least sweep clean

the way; else the memory of those last moments,
when the art must leave the artist’s hands
to seek its own workshop, build its own
reputation, will lose its deeper meaning,

and leave only a marred and ruined foundation
upon which the work of the future is lain.
This great work of art, so lovingly made,
is ready to be shown.

The sorrow would be greater if it were not so.
These tears will wipe the dust away,
and cleanse the heart anew.
And your work will come back, and will say

for all your effort, thank you.
So find no sadness in the plaster,
no remorse, no great disaster.
The piece is finished, and is good.

But it is not the only art inside you.
Build on that great store — you can, and should.

28 AUG 2003

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