To Mend Them

by Bethany Lee

A facemask hanging on a clothes line

Some days I’m tired of the making
but that might be an indication
I’m trying to do it alone
and that’s how you end up with armor

Helmets, shields, masks, weapons—
all forged in lonely fires
stoked by the thought of a battle line

That’s not how you weave
blankets, tents, or nets
That’s not how you make
bigger tablecloths

Still, we live in a world
where the looms have been shattered
and only a few know how to mend them

We have stopped listening to those
who are willing to sit and spin
pulling strength from weakness
plying two and three together

You can’t buy a better world on any shelf
The new earth doesn’t come ready made
We are always and forever
winding it together from raw materials

Bethany Lee, author of The Breath Between and Etude for Belonging from Fernwood Press, lives in Lafayette, OR, at the edge of the woods. Her writing is inspired by the space at the edge—her experiences as a hospice harpist, a year spent traveling at sea, and the deep silence of her Quaker practice.

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