quiet tragedy of clean hands

the potter sat alone on his staircase
and looked at his hands
hardly recognizing them as his own

they were clean and unmarked

with no remaining clay
spun at his potter’s wheel
to remind him of the day’s labor.

no pieces in the kiln
no radiating waves of heat
no fire in the furnace.

clean and restless hands,
the worst outcome for this man
who aches to use those hands
to warm and form his clay
and create again something new.

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