Warped (II)

Inset from Bayeux Tapestry, 11th Century

like greed, poverty, pestilence,
violence to women and children—
form part of the Great Tapestry.
The first weapon-threads were embedded so deeply
so early
(surely warped, not weft?)
ancient weavers remember not their origins.
No way to unpick the fine wools now,
though present weavers try.
With magnifying glass held in hopeful hands,
they kneel at the feet of history
and look in vain.
Behind the artisans the gun-lovers crouch—
nicking needles
stealing scissors
taking tufts—
distracting the peace lovers from their task.
They are all too close to the hanging.
From a distance
I laugh, sadly.
For it’s easy to see what violence has been done to the Tapestry.
I look not at the grass roots; my eyes travel upward.
Do you—
can you—
see what I see?
Areas of grayed, frayed wool
(inferior stuff)
mar the precious pattern; they
grin ghostly
sneer sickly
from the red-lipped mouths of history’s generals;
their tombstone teeth,
once woven in gently
by duped women
stooped in sorrow,
now hide openly, in a place too lofty
for the searching souls at their feet.

Published in Jan/Feb 2020 issue of 99E

Original of “Warped” appeared in broccoli4breakfast after winning first place in Weber State University’s poetry competition, April 2013