For Poets United prompt 11: Pain
This is not a new poem, but one that came immediately to mind when I saw the prompt. It remains true for me, even after years since its creation. It was published in my first small volume of poems titled Splitting Darkness. Here, I have added a stanza that looks back on that journey of reweaving a soul.
Broken heart isn’t broken, of course.
Rather, holes in a soul viciously
ripped loose from attachments. Threads
dangle in ragged-edged disarray.
One must travel with numb fingers
across once whole cloth
without a clue how to mend
what has been rendered useless.
Used to watch my mother darn socks,
thrusting a burnt out light bulb
into cloth cavity, weaving new thread
with needle into broken edges,
patiently working back and forth
until hole was filled and worn
sock could be worn again.
Those woven-by-hand patches were stronger
than older fabric. Could feel
resistance at heel and toe,
but know with certainty that here,
at least, was safety from further rupture.
Sometimes, with no more than flicker
of small candle, held high in trembling
fingers, those dangling threads of soul
can be found, carefully rewoven, anchored
on other side of void created when soul
is ripped loose from moorings. And as with
worn sock, that reworking brings new strength
to all those broken places.
Elizabeth Crawford 8/22/10