Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Zoe Mulford: Music

Elegy (Crystal Glass)

(Zoe Mulford)
words and music by Zoe Mulford

This crystal glass was given to my grandma on her wedding-day
It was one of twelve that were only used for guests
and it loves candle-light - it loves the morning sun
but it spent its days in darkness in a big oak chest
waiting for white linen and the silver and the wine -
On a table set for angels, it would shine
and she said,
 
Glasses may break if you use them every day
You must keep them safe - They’re like hearts that way
Mostly you can get along with less
Wait for special times to use the best
 
This crystal glass was given to my mother as a legacy
It was one of ten from my grandmother’s estate
and it loves candle-light - it loves the morning sun
but it spent years marked FRAGILE in a packing crate
‘til my mother rediscovered it in nineteen eighty-nine
She held it to the light to see it shine
and she said,
 
Glasses may break if you use them every day
You can keep them safe - but what good are they
if they just stay shut up in some chest?
Why wait to use the very best?
 
      So here’s a toast to lovely things
      Hear the crystal speak as it clicks against my rings
      and see the facets shine
      makes water taste like wine
      Clink the glasses and they sing
 
This crystal glass was broken on a clumsy Monday morning
It was one of four that my mother gave to me
and it loved candle-light - it loved the morning sun
and I’m sad to see it go, but I still have three
so I will pour some orange juice and drink to precious things
Shake the broken pieces, and they sing
and they say
 
Glasses may break if you use them every day
That’s the risk you take - they’re like hearts that way
and every day will put them to the test
but every day deserves the very best

© Zoe Mulford 2004