samedi 19 avril 2014

The Lost Shawl

Fancy Shawl Dancer by Donald Brewer

for Vince Wannassay
I brought it to your house
when Richard left
this seed of an idea I called
“shawl on a shawl”
Even if my Sioux warrior
abandoned me in the depth
of my love for him
Even if he drank himself
a thousand times under the table
I would take our child, our Joey
and I would dance the circle dance
with other Human Beings
I would create a shawl
and wrap myself up in it proudly
and round and round I'd go
beating my feet into the dirt
to the singing of the drum
at Warm Springs 

Vincent, you were his best friend
and you and Dee became mine after he left
helping me apply the shawl dancer
with thread and felt to the shawl
a “shawl on a shawl” I called her
One day I returned to find
you had sewn and knotted
the fringe all around the edges
a gift for me in my grief and madness
You gave my son Paul a light blue
fancy dancing costume
He broke all the feathers
and I felt terrible
but I never felt worse than when
the “shawl on a shawl” got thrown away 

I was working at the tv station
on the day my new husband
moved us into our new house
I told him, just throw the garbage out
any crap we aren't using
I didn't foresee how literally he would take it
and the “shawl on a shawl”
wound up in the St. John's dump
along with my bead collection, my loom
and my algebra books
I'm lucky I didn't lose my poetry that day
I'm lucky I didn't go insane 

I wound up in a mental hospital
a month after that
when I realized I had married
someone I didn't love
that I was still in love with Richard

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