The Life of a Bandana

It lay soiled
embedded with the sweat of cowboys
the brows of hard labor
shading a neck or two
the dust of earth, bloodied and battered
trampled by a herd
a buried kiss fading in sunlight
awaiting discovery
to be laundered and loved
mopping leaky features
the tears of children
smeared shadows draw on faces
snapped ends used to pierce skin
the stand off of sibling rivalry
twisted into rat tail points, provoking a scream
soaked and rung to pat the skinned knee
oiled and inked
reeking of turpentine and flesh
running along the spokes of wheels
greased lightning
hanging out of a back pocket
spit into for shine
Would you look at that?
grabbed from the girl who signals the race
left for the child to cover her doll
wrapped in threads of a larger embrace
ending on a shelf in a store
with marinating objects
fabric lives of their own
the same stitch used to thread earth to sky
a sewn world of antiques
the art of dust
in the breath of the wind
just listen
it speaks

-S. S. Hicks


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