the basket weaver*

February 14, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Penelope Keep, Grade 8

behold the basket
gaze upon the careful weave
each piece of cedar bark cut
each wicklike willow strand maneuvered
into its own
the next no different,
not the same

between the folds, each resource glints
giving itself up
being taken in
by the calloused hands who remember
that each tall tree, each abandoned ribbon of sap
creates a bigger, a better, a more beautiful
whole

and the hole, just there, is it also beautiful?
the frustration, the imperfection, the dropped stitch
machines could gloss each one without care,
no thought, no need for a furrowed brow that beads
the racing mind of the man
who sits, surrounded by his own creation
upon the garden he harvests from

*Copyright 2020 by Penelope Keep. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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