Parable (Glass)


She tells us again
of the time in childhood
her mother made her share
her favorite glass
with a visiting child
and rather than share
she took the glass outside
and (smirk) broke it.


A child myself,
her child, I teach myself
to crack glass with my teeth.
Subtle upward pressure
by the lower jaw while
holding the rim with top front teeth
results in a pleasing sudden snap.
My eyes watch everyone at table
jump. Oh look (blink blink)
it broke again.


She is in my kitchen
while I work outside. She sets
a Pyrex dish on the burner,
turns the knob, and sits by the stove.
The Pyrex dish explodes. Glass
shrapnel shoots across the kitchen,
litters the floor, and stabs the corners
of the next room. Christ her Lord
and Savior swiftly intervenes
and no one is injured. (Praise Him)
The miracle of the Pyrex dish.


Her son (a continent away)
asks why Jesus
didn’t just turn off the burner.


She is in my hall
in darkness, seeking glass.
She sweeps her hand across
the walls. The glass speaks.
A picture frame smashes
to the floor. She brings me
this (mute) offering.
One scimitar of glass is missing.
It waits for me
atop the bookcase
where she knows I’ll find it
eventually: a warning from God,
a present from my mother.

About the Author

Linda Scheller is a retired educator and the author of two books of poetry, Fierce Light (FutureCycle Press) and Wind & Children (Main Street Rag Publishing Company). Her poetry, plays, and book reviews are widely published in international journals and anthologies. She serves as Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center’s vice president, facilitates writing workshops and poetry readings, and produces KCBP Community Radio’s “Women of the Valley” and “Arts of the San Joaquin Valley.” Her website is