B is for Bindings

I’m making masks:

a seal between this face and that,
a shield between lips and my skin
from air and infection.
An aegis of old sheets and quilting
cottons is what keeps us from today’s
enemy. My stash of bias tape for ties
is depleted. The ribbon I’ve kept
from crafts long ago, the elastics
from the skirts I never made –
all gone.

Muslin tears clean,
and I’ve that, in yards,
so I rip
and fold
and sew
and turn
and my ties and tapes
build a pile like octopus legs
akimbo, a swirl and a curve,
an infinity loop
of connected cloth,
touching here – and there –
and off again, searching blind
for something to grasp

and I iron, and
hot dog of damp and dust,
this nose of cotton
under heat and steam
breaks generations over me

Ruby, Bernice, Beatrice,
my grandmother Betty, Elizabeth
the ladies who rolled bandages
for the war effort.
The B is for bindings
that tie us together.

Na/GloPoWriMo Day Twenty-Three: write a poem about a particular letter of the alphabet,

2 thoughts on “B is for Bindings

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