Poetry Friday:Mending Mittens by Larry Schug

Today’s Poetry Friday round up is hosted by  Karen Edmisten

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In an effort to preserve my sanity in the era of the current occupant of the White House, I took myself off Facebook and Twitter, switched from NPR to music and podcasts about books, sheep, and true crime, and from MSNBC to either the Food Network or HGTV whenever I had the inclination to turn on the television.  I can vote and I can help get out the vote, but I can’t keep sane if I attempt to keep up with current events, and I pay for the effort when I veer off course.

For example, I made the mistake of checking out The New York Times yesterday, only to discover that Mike Pence is now in charge of the CDC’s efforts to contain and deal with the coronavirus.  Mike Pence??!! And, just like that, I spiraled into a mood of rage, anxiety, and helplessness – I was once again conscious of  living in the age of Trump.

Then I received a message from a friend inviting me to a fundraiser at a local brewery for a local family whose daughter has cancer.   This reminded me of a fund raiser I had just been to in support of our town’s Fuel Fund, where money is raised to help those in need of support meeting their winter heating bills.  And, I thought ahead to the free summer camp I will be teaching at in an effort to provide children with positive experiences during those summer months.  I live in a rural area, mostly corn fields and dairy farms, where life is not easy for a good number of people, and yet there are also a good number of people volunteering in so many ways to make those lives just a bit easier.

I’m not sure where I found the poem below, or even when I saved it into my poetry file, but I’m glad I did.  I rather read it over and over again, than keep up with the current state of affairs in our country.

Mending Mittens by Larry Schug

Mending my leather mittens
for the third time this winter,
I sew them with waxed string
made to repair fishing nets,
hoping they’ll last
until the splitting maul rests
against the shrunken woodpile
and the hoe and spade come out of the shed.
Suddenly I find myself praying.
Blessed be those who have laced together
the splits at the seams of this world,
repaired its threads of twisted waters.
Blessed be those who stitch together
the animals and the land,
repair the rends in the fabric
of wolf and forest,
of whale and ocean,
of condor and sky.
Blessed be those who are forever fixing
the tear between people and the rest of life.
May we all have enough thread,
may our needles be sharp,
may our fingers not throb or go numb.
May each of us find an apprentice,
someone who will take the needle from our hands
continue all the mending that needs to be done.

7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday:Mending Mittens by Larry Schug

  1. Beautifully sad poem, but it offers comfort and hope in humanity. I hear you about the constant struggle to bear all the atrocities happening in our country. We have to keep informed, but it’s devastating day after day. Even with something like coronavirus, where human lives are at stake, this administration cannot tell the truth. Silencing the health experts? Everything is to make Trump look good. Of course Pence is the wrong person to be in charge. He doesn’t even believe in science.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I listen to the news just in the dumb hope that I’ll hear that something is being done about our cruel leadership. But in only gets worse. But maybe something good will happen in November. I hope. It’s so wonderful to hear about all the things you do to make a difference, Tara.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stress and anxiety have taken over my life, my blood pressure! Yes to your prescription” to move away from the barrage of news on radio, TV, intense conversation into music, books, “mittens” and quietly helping others. I think I hear a robin and the sun is deciding to appear!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am wishy-washy about the social media, love the private groups I am in on FB, so it’s hard to give that up, but I am trying hard to leave the news alone unless I do read my NY Times feed. Yes, Every Day, Every Day, there is some other thing or things to worry over. It seems that you are doing positive things for this new community, Tara, & immersing yourself with the animals and the farm must be a joy. Thanks for this poem, a wonderful peek at hope. Happy Leap Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tara, I love this post because of how you have retreated from the insanity to find the beauty. I feel the anxiety, live the stress and because I teach in a school full of immigrant kids…feel and see the bullying, the mean references. ugh! This poem so beautifully blesses me too. Thank you. The tears in the world feel so huge right now. I want to be stitching…but, oh where to begin?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this is a beautiful poem, Tara. I hear you on the news and the anxiety. This week, I asked my husband to use earbuds when he wanted to listen, because I need more breaks from it than he does. I long for saner times.

    Like

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