A Hundred Gourds 4:1 December 2014

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Anne Benjamin – Australia

The Shirt

for Martin Lucas

I find the shirt as I rummage in an unfrequented cupboard. A lovely garment, tailored in purple pleated linen. I recall my disappointment when it had been torn, being unsure of its repair. I unfold it, fearful it is damaged beyond reclamation; hold it to the morning light.

the rifts widen
rip them apart—
attending to my household
I find forgotten treasure

With a snip or two, I undo threads, re-pin the cloth in place and neatly backstitch along the seam. My handwork merges, unseen, into the shirt-front. A little care is all it needs. A simple task in warm autumn sunshine.

veiled by day,
spectres of purple night
unravel my sleep—
can our frayed weft and warp
be stitched into one piece?

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