At the Glass Factory in Cavan Town

Today it is a swan:
                     The guide tells us
 these are in demand.
                     The glass is made

of red lead and potash                    
                     and the smashed bits
of crystal sinews
                     and decanter stoppers

crated over there—
                     she points—and shattered
on the stone wheel
                     rimmed with emery.

Aromas of stone and
                     fire. Deranged singing
from the grindstone,
                     and behind that

a mirror—my
                     daughters’ heads turned
away in it—garnering
                    grindstone and fire.

The glass-blower goes
                     to the furnace.
He takes a pole
                     from the earth’s

core: the earth’s core
                     is remembered in
the molten globe at
                     the end of it.

He shakes the pole
                     carefully to and fro.
He blows once. Twice.
                     His cheeks puff and

puff up: he is
                     a cherub at the very
edge of a cornice with
                     a mouthful of zephyrs—

sweet intrusions into
                     leaves and lace hems.
And now he lays
                     the rod on its spindle.

It is red. It is
                     ruddy and cooler.
It is cool now
                     and as clear as

the distances of this
                     county with its drumlins,
its herons, its closed-
                     in waterways on which