Spring 2013

Volume 8, Issue 1



Rag Rug



The lamp's brass plating
Gleams in the light that reaches to her hands
Twisting the bits of cloth into a cord
The thickness of her index finger
To coil into a rag rug. In the hills
Where she is from even rags are not to waste.
I would ask her if I could
Whether it matters that the cotton strip
Is from the girl's special dress
Or that the flannel, torn across
The angle of the squares,
Is from her father's shirt, the one
He liked to wear Friday nights
As they walked into town
And the light cleaned up after
Its busy day and the crickets
Chattered as if sitting on the porch
Having a smoke. What she liked
Best was the walk home after
The barn dance, the air a nice warm,
The dirt soft on bare feet and the fireflies
As if the stars had come down to visit
And one brought a fiddle.
But rags are, I think, only things
Not to waste and be made
Useful again, the way lard can be
Made soap or a frock cut down and worn
Again, or shoes stuffed with paper
And made to fit. And this rocking, the
Twisting of torn cloth between thumb and fingers
Is not remembering, nor quite
Forgetting either.





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