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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "The Aurora Hat"
This poem came out of the January 7, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] readera. It also fills the "traumatic brain injury" square in my 1-1-20 card for the Less Usual Bingo Patterns fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the series Arts and Crafts America.

Warning: This poem touches on traumatic brain injury and how it affects people's lives. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

"The Aurora Hat"

After Jeannie fell while skiing,
fell into a coma that swallowed
whole weeks of her life,
her sister Marie
took up knitting.

She bought gray yarn
for the gloom of silence,
pastels of yellow, pink, and blue
for the hidden rainbow of hope.

Through the long days of waiting,
Marie knitted, needles clicking
in her restless fingers,
soft yarn a whisper
of redemption.

From the dark gray band
rose dark gray trees, spruce
reaching for the sky that
bloomed with aurora colors.

A gray pompom cloud
almost covered up
the white hint of moon
upon the crown, but
the moon was still there.

When Jeannie woke,
her head hurt and
she was always cold and
everything was confusing.

Marie gave her the aurora hat
to cover the scars on her forehead
and crown, to keep her warm and
remind her that she was loved
no matter what happened next.

Jeannie touched the hat
that showed a cold winter night,
knitted through cold winter nights,
yet lit with auroras of hope.

She put it on and felt a little better.

* * *


Traumatic Brain Injury covers a wide range of damage from mild concussion to penetrating injuries. People with TBI often have behavioral impairment such as feeling overloaded or confused, plus difficulty getting organized. There are tips on what brain injury survivors want you to know and what they need to hear.

The Aurora Hat uses this pattern.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
acelightning From: acelightning Date: February 5th, 2021 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I needed to read that. Even though I had the stroke in 2018, there are still a number of malfunctions. I don't dare try to drive,and I have trouble telling time, especially when I'm tired. But at least I can cook a meal, decorate a cake, and help my husband troubleshoot his aging computer. And when the article mentions people having trouble coping with many people talking at once - sometimes using Zoom is less stressful than actual "in person" conversation. Thank you for posting this.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 5th, 2021 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)

You're welcome!

I'm happy I could help.

After a loss, it's important to find useful and meaningful things to do. Sometimes, they're old things you can pick up again; other times, it helps more to try something new. Family support can help a lot too.

I think we'd get better results if more people understood those things and offered more support.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: February 5th, 2021 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: You're welcome!

I've already found quite a few work-arounds for some of the stuff I have trouble with. All we need is the same things any other living creature needs: kindness, friendliness, and a preference for inclusion instead of exclusion.
3 comments or Leave a comment