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
shuffling through stacks on shelves
in search of the perfect paper

for this craft project:
replicate a solitary heart
seen in the darkness of a dream.

I'd hoped
one of those paper textures
would help me recall
the feeling of that moon-white heart

and though several did seem
almost right
"almost" is not quite.

Yet as my finger pads traced across sheets
of various weaves and thicknesses
I discovered some type of perfection
in every grade--
high and low and in-between:

each new pleasure
spurred the desire
to touch just one more...
just one more...

until one particular paper
finally stopped me--
that rough gray sheet
actually seemed to shine
from the shadow of the shelf...

so I touched
with the trepidation of hope

and in turn, was touched
by a quiet fabric so alive:

somehow this paper provoked
a deeper feeling--

reminding me of the empathy
I sometimes feel
when I'm watching on the street--

an empathy I also experience
when I sit down with someone
who I sense has known
a history similar to my own.

So later, at home
when I eagerly
--yet tenderly--
put scissors
to those receptive fibers
the result expressed
something beyond
mere decorative design:

when I see that heart shape
I recall someone lost...

someone whose history
is part of my own.

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

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