Eggcups at Besalu

Photograph by Mike Smith

Yes, I remember Besalu—
the tiny shop, where one afternoon
I pulled up there in my hire car
in the heat. It was late June.

Outside the shop, under a tree
ceramic bowls were gaily tumbled
swirls of blue, white, red and yellow
cheerful, rounded bodies jumbled.

And eggcups, on their ends, pink, gold
And some of them turned to the light
wore faces, each with expressions—
bemused, confident, fearful, bright.

And for that minute in the sun
I thought I saw my joy and pain
reflected in all the potteries
of Portugal and Spain.

Shelley McAlister 

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