Glassmakers light huge fires
and stir their blood and sweat
into the materials
that boil transparent
in their crucibles.
Then, with what's left of their strength,
they pour the glass into plates
and roll it completely smooth.
And when the sun comes up
they carry light to the cities
and to the smallest village huts.
Sometimes they are called laborers,
at other times, poets--
though one is as good as the other.
Slowly they run out of blood
and grow transparent:
large crystal windows to the future
built on you.
translated by John Batki
Copyright c 1997 by John Batki and Oberlin College.
May not be reproduced without permission.