Where Do We Put Our Focus?

"Stitching It Together" in The Journal of Radical Wonder

by rosemerryt@gmail.com

It matters where we put our attention. That’s what I consider in this poem, “Stitching It Together,” published in the wonderful Journal of Radical Wonder. 

Stitching It Together

In our imperfect world/ we are meant to repair/ and stitch together/ what beauty there is

 — Stuart Kestenbaum, “Holding the Light”

Today I gather the morning light
as it angles gold across the lawn.
I gather the scent of fennel fronds
in the garden and the surprising sweetness
of the one-bite strawberries
and the softness of the shawl
I thought was lost, but today I found.

I gather the weight of my daughter
as she leans into me on the couch
and the smooth burn of rye whiskey
and the purr of the cat as she naps
deeper into my lap, and I stitch
them together with the thread
of my attention.

Long ago, I learned what I focus on
creates me. Not that I ignore the bindweed,
the news, the drought, the young raccoon
dead beside the road. I do not turn away
from the stories that make me weep.
I am willing to be ferocious —
to stand up for what I know is true.

But I study what is beautiful,
what is generous. I offer it my devotion.
Even in this moment writing this poem,
I stitch in the pauses and the stumblings —
these, too, are beautiful because they are true.
I stitch in the pure potential that steeps
in uncertainty. I stitch in silence. I stitch in hope.