Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Bushfire Shawl"

This is the linkback perk for the February 4, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was originally hosted by Dreamwidth user Dialecticdreamer. It was inspired by a prompt from Dreamwidth user Readera. This poem also fills the "Fire" square in my 1-1-20 card for the Less Usual Bingo Patterns fest. It also belongs to the series Arts and Crafts America.

The Bushfire Shawl

Australia was burning.

Even with crafters
keeping down demand
for industry, it had done
damage to the environment.

Now thousands of acres of
dry forest were going up
in smoke, carbon pouring
into the darkening sky.

Maddie wasn't a firefighter
and she didn't live in Australia.

What she could do was knit,
so she made up a pattern
using the gray of ash,
the red and yellow of
the dancing flames.

She put the shawl
up for auction and
then sent the money
to Australia for fire relief.

Next she posted the pattern
as free to anyone who wanted
to use it for the same purpose.

Hundreds of requests poured in,
and the yarn shop sold out of
the original colors, and people
had to make do with whatever
they could substitute instead.

The shawls were all beautiful
anyway, and all sold anyway,
and the money certainly helped.

But the fires lasted long enough
for all of those things to happen.

* * *


The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season has devastated millions of acres.  Here are some ways you can help.

See the front and the back of the Bushfire Shawl.  Read about the yarn used to make it.
Tags: activism, crafts, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing

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