Friday, July 24, 2020

Katherine A. Hagopian Berry: Springback

It is the nature of crisis to pivot,
like a magnet seeking iron.
I start sewing by hand
you buy your first pair of work gloves
trade suits for pants with hammer straps
briefcase shoulder creased and faded, edging past forty
you leave it the trunk of our old jeep,
drive past derelict farms, scaled and fullered camp roads.
Your gloves are new, smooth like bright bar stock
pale wood of your handle, tongs you borrow.
I watch sparks like geese returning
on the sharp March wind
they settle on leather, feather ruffle, and fade.
You learn to roll axial, extrude backward
the breakdown, the buckle, the harden, the quench.
Inexorably, we become used to it
burns overtake the virgin brown
you search for anvils on the internet
I tell you I am drawn to one with runes and stars
the whole world open to making yourself
like nails you forge and forge again
it takes two hundred, you say, to get it right
round the heads from unsteady cubes,
the stalks from jagged twigs
into something that can hold us all together.

Katherine A. Hagopian Berry’s poems have appeared in The Café Review, “Balancing Act II: An Anthology of Poetry by Fifty Maine Women, Glass: Poets Resist,” and “A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis.” Her collection “Mast Year” is forthcoming this spring from Littoral Books.

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