A Difference in Kind

by Devon Balwit


The objects are, indeed, lovely—

bamboo baskets that split the light,

urns thin as eggshell,

sake cups glazed in celadon,


but the price tags—hundreds, thousands—

eat at me, begging me to ask why

my hours of labor, distilled into poetry,

earn me nothing.


Is it that one cannot coordinate black glyphs

with one’s décor, or is it that, deep down,

the poet is judged self-indulgent,

everyone knowing such a dabbler?


I wander the displays, appreciative, bitter,

tallying how much I spend

to have my work seen and rejected

or to fund a peer’s prize.


I, too, slap matter to the wheel, find a balance, an even lip.

I wet and score, glaze and fire,

losing many, scrapping more.

Why am I, alone, asked to work for love?

Devon Balwit lives in Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press) and Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press). Her work has appeared or will (among other places) in The Cincinnati Review, Peacock Review, The Stillwater Review, The Tule Review, Red Earth Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Inflectionist Review, Rattle, Eunoia Review, and Poets Reading the News. You can find her on Facebook.

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