Stephen Burt (2015)
Everybody wants a piece of me.
I have been weighed and measured,
tested and standardized,
throughout my young life. It happens to everyone,
or to everyone with my ability.
Now I live quietly
and mostly in the dark, amid sawdust and sheer
or streaky wooden surfaces. My role,
when I reach maturity,
may be to help people behave
more sociably, and reduce
the irritations of summer,
or else to make it easier to eat.
For reasons I cannot fathom, I weep when it rains.
My handlers keep me wrapped in awkward cloth.
They will not let me touch my friends
or show any curves. They have taught me how to shave.
A few twigs and dragonfly wings got caught
near the center of me long ago; they serve
to distinguish me from others of my kind,
along with some bubbles of air.
I am worth more when I am clear.
When I am most desirable
you should be able to see yourself through me.
Some of my distant relatives
will probably never go far,
because they are too irregular, or opaque.
Many of us will end on a cart.
I, on the other hand, have had my work
cut out for me by so many gloves
and tongs, pallets and barges, poles and planks
that I am sure I will go to New York;
there people who own
the rights to me will give elaborate thanks
to one another, and go on to take me apart.