These bracelets, which I have on today, brought to mind this poem from two years ago that deals with (or at the very least, makes use of) today’s prompt word of “dubious.” I lived and traveled for many years abroad..a number of those years spent in Africa or traveling through Indonesia and this poem always reminds me of the thousands of artisans I met during those years, not knowing that later I would become an artisan myself.
The Stories Held by Things
Niata and Solchi sit in the shade of a baobob,
coils of bright plastic between them,
bright green, pink, white, black, green.
They do not touch the yellow.
They are afraid of it, perhaps,
or dubious. Yellow is the color of the water
that carried their sister away
as she called out to them,
helpless on the bank––
of the skin of their brother
who was surrendered to the water
to be carried away as well.
Yellow is not in their
as they wind, wind the plastic cord
into bracelets, forming designs
of checkerboards and crosses,
stripes like the stripes in candy canes
given in December by the missionaries.
Now a band of blue, then back to white lines
on black backgrounds.
They fantasize about
who would wear these bracelets.
A penny each, they are given for their efforts.
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