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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Mending; Notes from the Fall; The Waiting

By: Thomas Hedt

The Mending

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 Waiting

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.


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