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