Pandemic: “Repurpose Old Shirts for Masks” by Amy Miller

Pandemic: “Repurpose Old Shirts for Masks”

I expected regret, but not
this dissection. How clever
the sleeves—each a single sheet,
shoulder shirred, wrists

tapered. Such skill in the bound-off
seams, square cuffs. I cut it all
away, lay each part flat on the table.
I keep thinking of charts—

loin, shank, ribeye, chuck—the countries
of a body. The back, for instance,
perfect for the long ties, strips,
plaid lines to guide the shears

as it gives up all that held it together,
making an almost beautiful sound
like someone who worked all day
and is now changing into something else.

by Amy Miller

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Editor’s Note: The allegory inherent in each image of this poem aches so beautifully one must read it again and again.

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