The Mending; Notes from the Fall; The Waiting
By: Thomas Hedt
You loved the peace
of your water bound commute
Southworth to Fauntleroy,
then on to Seattle. With friends
gathered across vinyl benches,
coffee, tea, and a sweet snack.
You would be sewing, gazing out
the window, at Douglas fir shrouded
in fog, water opening and closing
over the head of a seal. You loved
the peace of pulling thread through
torn cloth. The dark blue patch
on the knees of faded jeans. You were
trained in the art of mending,
the craft of needlework, at a trade
school in Dresden. This was before
ration cards were cancelled, and you
were forced to leave. On a coal train
through Elsterwerda, you and your
three-year-old brother played with blocks
of coal, making bridges and roads.
You lived for years with the rubble
of bridges and roads. The shell of Berlin,
the fire-bombing of Dresden. Trained
in the art of mending, pulling
spirit through rent existence, keeping
so much hidden, close to your bones,
well-practiced at concealing every seam.
Notes From the Fall
Autumn asks incessantly, with memory dancing
brilliantly: to have and to hold, possess or release?
Three months ago, just past solstice, we sat in the car and watched
the waves wash the beaches of the North Spit.
The comfort of our hands held the moment
we built our story, of knowing when to let go.
Cancer burning inside you, possessing your body.
Yesterday is faded blue enamel on a copper bowl, snapshots capturing smiles, preserving the curve of a cheekbone, our love and possession of each other.
Tomorrow morning is mist billowing, releasing
every dream, possessing only obscurity.
Walking forward into fog, each step
a liturgy, making the world new.
The marina calm, the boats nearly
still, lightly gesticulating surface
radiance. Geese, brants, gulls, cormorants.
The asphalt of the parking lot hosts
a small family walking. Sometimes
he would need to grasp, like he was pulling
on a rope, to bring himself back
to the present. That morning, the water dark
brown, turned sky blue, looking
to the west. No hurry. Just the ache
of time running its path through
the convulsing synapse of his inner skin.
Thomas Hedt lives in Eureka, California. With Bachelor’s degrees in soils and agronomy and a Masters in Environmental Policy and Management, he spent 36 years in the profession of natural resource conservation, working primarily in Washington State, California, Alaska, and Arizona. His poetry has appeared in: The Lilly Poetry Review, The Tule Review, The Goldman Review, Quiet Rooms, Sacramento Voices, and the Sijo International Journal of Poetry and Song. His first compilation, Artifacts and Assorted Memorabilia, was published in September of 2020 by Cold River Press.