Bonsai at the Potter’s Stall


by Kay Mullen

Under fluorescent light,
aligned on a bench

and table top, oranges
the size of marbles dangle

from trees with glossy
leaves. White trumpets

bloom in tiny clay pots.
Under a firethorn’s twisted

limbs, a three inch monk
holds a cup from which

he appears to drink
the interior life. The potter

prizes his bonsai children
who will never grow up,

never leave home.


American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 2006 by Kay Mullen, and reprinted from her most recent book of poetry, A Long Remembering: Return to Vietnam, FootHills Publishing, 2006.

About the Author:

Kay Mullen is a poet based in Washington.