Quiet comfort

Thursday August 18, 2005

There’s always a reward in the fruitless wrestling with a failed sonnet, I told myself somewhere around the eleventh draft. It’s good honest labour, a worthy thing in itself.

I tried it over and over today, every which way, to no good effect. Deciding the basic idea was insufficient for my purpose, I gave up in disgust, spiked it, and turned my efforts instead to catching up on laundry duties.

Somewhere around the third load I got my reward when I was least expecting it:

 

An old blanket
 
Today I laundered an old woollen blanket,
ugly thing, faded, a darn close to one corner,
one hem long since unstitched and ragged.
 
I had forgotten the reason we’ve kept it so long,
rolled up on the day-bed against chilly afternoons.
 
When I took it from the dryer, shook it, folded it,
held it against my body, felt the warmth of it,
years of quiet comfort reminded me why.
 
 
John Bailey
August 2005, Lincolnshire

 

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