There is no solution. The great minds struggling
have never found one satisfactory. Meanwhile,
the air is filled with war. The sweet dove
has gone to ground again. Revolution,
disease, burning desert, melting ice.
In the music store, asking for Rutter’s Requiem,
I watched the clerk writing, his left hand cocked
around the pen, his bitten cuticles,
his brown sweater, homemade,
one stitch pulled out at the right shoulder.
I made a sweater once, for my son,
handspun, undyed. Some woman in the town
he lives in now, perhaps while they wait
in line at a grocery store, might notice
slubs, uneven ribbing at the neck,
and wonder if his mother made it.
She did, you know. Some mother made
all of it: sweaters, sheep, the Rutter cello solo,
soloist, pen and cuticles, dove,
desert, air, all those minds.
Make something yourself.
Wind a ball from a skein, cast on.
Follow the pattern.
Do the best you can.
See how it all comes out.
This was written in 2003, shortly after the war started.