If you want to know about the writing process that led to this poem, see this blog post. This poem, without the photos, was published in Adanna.
Restoring the Seams
She used to count every rib,
a loom around her heart,
like the Appalachian tool
that spools honey into her tea.
But years of good food and wine
now hide her ribcage.
She lets the seams
out of the side of her favorite
dress, a dress bought long ago,
a dress stitched by a distant
woman in Afghanistan in a different decade.
She thinks of that country
come undone, torn and shredded.
She slides the seam ripper
under threads made softer
by the humidity of many Southern summers.
She thinks of distant graveyards,
young men buried in alien
landscapes. She thinks of English ivy,
that invasive immigrant, clinging
to the marble markers,
obscuring the names beneath.
Hours later, half blind from restoring
seams, she walks the woods
of a neighboring monastery.
The monks have reclaimed
an old slave cemetery, but a toppled
angel lies face down in the rich dirt.
She sets the angel upright
and brushes soil off her half-eroded features.