Makers of boots and shoes by hand, the first American pocket watches by machine. Of felt, flour, snuff, cotton. Guns and gunpowder, iron. Anchors, pipes, and boilers. My father’s people, makers. Makers of glass: olive-green and amber flasks and inkwells. My skilled ancestors crafted silver forks, knives, spoons— the kind set out on holidays. Now with air I make this, lighter than a grain of sand. It won’t burn or shatter. You can’t eat or sip from it, wear it thin on city streets, but it tells of the makers’ ribbed and polished edges, their sure making long ago, their swirls, filigrees, mettle. //////////////
Jo Pitkin is the author of Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York; Commonplace Invasions; Rendering; and Village: Recession and editor of Lost Orchard: Prose and Poetry from the Kirkland College Community. Her poems have been published in The New York Review of Books, Little Star, Nimrod International Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Salamander, Southern Humanities Review, A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, and other journals and anthologies.