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A Gift

An ode to my beloved favorite mug

By Gabriel HuizengaPublished 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 2 min read
Original sketch

Gazing out of a frost-tinged window

Into the silver-blue mist and shrubbery -

My hands are warmed by the dark liquid you bear,

As steam unfurls its arms wide to welcome the cool morning,

Saturating it with the comforting scent of ritual.


Your machine-made cousins,

Born by the dozen from identical molds,

Stand dressed all in off-white

in a haphazard row on the kitchen shelf -

An unconcerned porcelain regiment.

A tired, well-used, old guard,

who do not know, as you do,

The spinning of the potter’s wheel.


You came to me as a gift from a kind aunt

Who, having introduced me to caffeine’s delights,

Bears, shamelessly, the guilt of my bittersweet addiction -

And by your gifting, encouraged it.


In truth, I long to be like you:

A reservoir of familiarity; a humble vessel.

What a quality! To be a thing designed to receive,

Fittingly formed by two open hands,

Only to offer up its contents to grateful, thirsty lips.


The two hands which, in your absence,

Might themselves cup frigid, muddied water

From a stream, spring, or cistern

Have meticulously shaped wetted mud which,

hardened by fire, and stealing an ounce of its shine,

May now hold a clean drink

(or more likely one willfully diluted

by fire-blackened fruit, or desiccated greenery!)


A whirling dance of water, fire, and dirt,

Choreographed by those weary, gentle hands,

Has, in you, its grand finale.

Perhaps you collapsed in on yourself once, twice,

or more during that drawn-out pirouette

Overworked, but reshaped, lovingly and patiently,

Like a poem

At first clunky, bumpy, and feeble,

But tended, stretched, and loved

Into a more beautiful imperfection.

Each turn and groove and so-called flaw

of your unassuming surface

Shaped by hands likewise pockmarked.


Oh, how I long to be like you!

To be a thing designed to receive -

A reservoir of familiarity; a humble vessel

Pleased to offer up its contents to grateful, thirsty souls.


I find you again in the gloaming

Of the day which opened with mist and gratitude

A tiny pool of wine-dark drink

Quietly awaiting its rediscovery.


And so briefly, quietly rekindled

By the rich dark liquid gift you bear

Is the wonder which consecrated the morning,

As your gentle form

Is taken up again by open, grateful hands.


You are, truly,

a gift that keeps on giving,

My beloved favorite mug.


Author's note: I have been struggling with whether to leave this poem in its current rather unstructured form, or if I should try to rework it into a more orderly four-line-per-stanza-ABABAB-rhyme-scheme-format. Given the content of the poem, it seemed more fitting to leave it as is; nevertheless, I think I may try to submit a reworked version as well, as a challenge for myself and to see if readers prefer that version! So feel free to keep an eye out for that version, when it hopefully arrives. Thanks for reading!

All the best,


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About the Creator

Gabriel Huizenga

Twas for love of words that I first joined this site:

Poetry, essays, and dear short stories too;

For to live one's best is to read, and to write!

So find me in words here, and I'll find you 💙

Thanks for stopping by! :)

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Comments (5)

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  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    I think this poem is just great! I get inspired by the objects around me, especially if I have a particular affection for them. I can feel your affection for this mug. It's really rather sweet.

  • Hope Martin8 months ago

    I love this poem as is. It's raw. You can tell where your thoughts were when writing, and while you were talking about your mug, I love the subtle hints that your aunt who made it for you was strongly on your mind. This is wonderful. Just the way it is.

  • Antoinette L Brey8 months ago

    Nice poem, i love my mugs too

  • Jazzy 8 months ago

    I like how it is formatted now! Very well done!

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