Unpacking the Balaclava

After ten years I unpack the memory;
two sisters more used to the delicate
joyful work of interlacing the fine threads
of baby bonnets when the request came.
A balaclava for a man
who would never execute the trip he planned
but knew the importance of planning
as we did of making.
He used paper and ink to map remote routes,
mark the exact locations of wild berry patches
and waterholes.
We used thick wool to drive the forecast cold
from his face as he trekked his dreamscape on horseback.
Ignoring the green and brown camouflage colours
of the bush he imagined sleeping and not waking in,
we chose sky blue and black, hoping to buy him
one more day one more night.
We took turns weaving our love into rows
we couldn't tell apart. When we finished
we fitted the shaven head of our brother
with this soft misshapen talisman. Two openings:
One for the eyes to stare down time.
One for the nose and mouth to breathe
in and out and all the way home.

Jane Williams

If you have any comments on this poem,  Jane Williams  would be pleased to hear from you.