The Basket


She's worn a little, that frayed working basket,
Still sowing raw fields through the reaping years.
Hard-handled, high and easy swinging,
Twisted bittersweet mending 'round her rim.
Like turns of memory catching each ashen spoke.

Double open-ended, wove light as a dory
Homebound, nosing up a following sea.
Salty, setting square, wedged nicely between kneeling knees,
She waits for barnacled mussels,
Ripped from kelpy heaps above low tide.

Hand soaked and split to spare perfection,
Crafted as in times of kings forgotten on Scottish plains,
Holding what is gathered, but not contained, in abundant gardens,
Cradling uncrushed fruit and pendant carrots,
With room for daisies in the coarse bouquet.

Kilting near the door she lies,
Trusty and familiar as an old dog, and as ruminant.
(Minds me of the need for tending).
That baling wire there, etched in patient little stitches,
Covers the hole left by careless girls playing.

Not mass-produced, nor is there plastic there
In that plain and simple working basket that is simply there,
and rare.

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