I am not very crafty. I sometimes have the impulse to create tangible, viewable items, but unless I am preparing food, I generally fall short of my vision. So for a friend, I wrote this little poem for Christmas. Because sometimes I am sentimental.
For My Friend
I wanted to give you something real,
an authentic gift, something tangible I made with my hands,
for you and you alone.
A scarf of alpaca wool, in hues of aqua and cerulean to bring out your eyes,
wrapping your neck and ears in warmth from woven yarn passed through my fingers,
but I don’t knit.
Or a mug glazed like a Appalachian sunset
with an indention for your thumb so that you can sip coffee or peppermint tea,
and know that I love you.
Perhaps a terrarium, with tiny plants arranged just so,
in a clear glass bottle, with mosses tucked around the edges,
miniscule ceramic fairy ladies sitting on a bench.
But I am afraid my efforts would yield a container of mud and water droplets,
Hardly a gift that says,
“This is us, safe in the world we have created for ourselves.”
I tried to make bath bombs scented with sandalwood and lavender,
but most crumbled to dust, or, worse,
the bits of flower petals embedded in the center shriveled on the side of the bathtub
like discarded scabs.
Hardly the promise of aromatherapy that yields comfort and respite.
I wanted to make fig jams and lemon curd,
so that you could eat toast and think of the sweetness of our friendship.
But my canning skills could cause botulism,
and I know you don’t poison friends for special occasions,
or any occasion, I suppose.
So I only have this sort of poem,
my heart on paper, for you.
And, later, a box of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate for us to share,
we can give each other quiet moments in the sun,
or evenings under the harvest moon next to a smoky fire,
laughing or thinking or crying,
depending on the season.
I love you, my dearest friend,
so I give you my words.
Gwen Mullins Alegre