New Haibun Anthology

Highly recommended:


And glad to be included!

Steuben Glass by Miriam Sagan

When I was fourteen, or a bit older, my friend Alma and I had the run of New York City. We’d go to Sheep’s Meadow for the hippie scene in the dry fountain, the West Village, and oddly enough, mid-town. Fifth Avenue had its own beauty in the rain, everyone crossing at the same time with an umbrella when the WALK sign flashed, like something choreographed in a Broadway musical.

I loved St. Patrick’s for its stained glass, particularly the blues in the kaleidoscopic rose window. We loved Tiffany’s and often ventured in to oogle diamonds laid out on black velvet—not to mention emeralds and sapphires. Once we pretended to look for Mother’s Day gifts, and the clerk served us with complete sang-froid, although I’m sure she wasn’t taken in for a minute as we giggled in our purple maxi coats.

But it was Steuben glass next door that was my pinnacle of beauty. The glass was all uncolored, and the pieces had stories. A mother polar bear climbed with her cubs. A hunter floated on an iceberg, aiming at the implied watery depths.

Now I see it with more context—its art deco lines, its etched and sculpted technique, its slightly sentimental quality with the ability to evoke perfection.

This summer, at Corning Glass, I saw where it is made. And for about the amount workman’s comp takes out of my paycheck each month I bought (factory price on sale) two little pieces, grooved star and heart, that can fit in my palm, a bit of the transparent unattainable.

surely these bubbles
in the glass iceberg must be
the glassblower’s breath.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

6 thoughts on “New Haibun Anthology

  1. Ha, I loved reading this rendering of a long-ago memory. Whenever I tell this story, I focus on the class aspect of a middle-class girl (me) pretending to be rich, and the difference race makes. (If we’d been anything but white, I doubt we’d have been indulged by the saleswomen.) I love your poetic re-telling! Alma

  2. Well done, Miriam! And congrats! Brings back memories – when I was 14 us boys went into the City to watch the Yankees and Mets, magical times for boys who dreamed of playing shortstop for either team. Unattainable goals for boys of limited talent.

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