Making Masks

Women of Sheffield

Women of Steel Statue in Sheffield, England honoring women who worked in the steel industry in WWI and WWII. Photo by Tim Dennell; some rights reserved.

by Marcus Colasurdo

No machine.
Not a needle nor thread.
Match cloth with a pattern,
one flush atop the other-
keep those gypsy sharpened scissors
at the ready,
double the cloth and cut close-
A Zapatista guerilla
bandana emerges triangulated.
Lilacs burst from the Ukrainian earth.
Grateful Dead bears dance
across your lower case face.
The stars n’ stripes stretch to the point
where they have to be loosened, redone.
A ragged high school football jersey
wraps about right-
acrylic- blotched
and smelling of old dreams
and dried blood.
A battered scarf,
relic of a Christmas past,
measured and precisely diced
fits over your nose,
and mouths a drapery full of snowflakes.
Measure a dozen more skeins,
choose your colors,
close your knots,
grab your gloves and forget
your fingerprints:
we’re going downtown tonight
into the city of whispers.

Marcus Colasurdo is the author of 11 books and a member of Anthracite Unite. Over the years, he has worked as varied as Los Angeles taxi-cab driver to Job Corps counselor. He is the founder of the Soul Kitchen, a community meals and clothing program (in Baltimore, MD and Hazleton, PA) that currently feeds 400 folks monthly and provides various other much-needed items to needy folks in those communities.

Also by Marcus Colasurdo
The Simple Justice of Eating
Unchained Pierogis
Letter of Transit


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