Sunday, February 01, 2015

A Visit to the Paper Store

author's note:

Come on, come on, come on, come on
now touch me, babe...
                     -- The Doors


I once spent
an hour well-spent
trying to find
the perfect paper

to recreate a solitary heart
that'd fascinated me in a dream.

I'd hoped
one of those paper hues
would help me recall
the color of the heart--

well, each seemed almost right--
almost, but not quite.

Moreover, I discovered
near perfection
in every grade, high and low

as my finger pads traced across sheets
of various weaves and thicknesses--

I couldn't be satisfied
when each new pleasure spurred the desire
to touch just one more...
just one more...

even so, one particular paper
finally stopped me--
that rough gray sheet
actually seemed to shine...

so I touched
but with trepidation

and in turn, was touched
by a quiet material so alive...

true, the others also lived
but this paper provoked
a deeper feeling:

there's the empathy I feel
when I'm on the street
and the empathy I experience
when I sit down with someone
who I sense has known
a history similar to my own.

So when I eagerly
--yet tenderly--
put my scissors and ink
to those receptive fibers
the result expressed
something beyond
mere decorative design--

that mirror asked me
to remember someone lost...

someone of history known.

Now, years later
as I touch that cut heart
I feel again the melancholy
while also celebrating
the history shared...

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

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