Everyone has donated their old bedsheets
to make a giant quilt the size of Vermont.
We’re sewing it by hand, using corn-silk for thread,
sharpened toothpicks as needles—

it takes longer this way, but after years of machine-frustration
& bloodied finger-tips, we’ve learned
there are more important things than time.
Example of Important Thing: keeping our feet warm in the snow.

Last season everyone donated old sweaters—
we unspun the wool to knit every child a new pair of socks.
When The Sock Store first heard of our plans, they protested.
Sales were expected to plummet—

We were putting hard-working people out of jobs.
They told us that jobs keep feet warm in the snow, too.
We didn’t argue. Asked the children to decide:
Jobs or wool socks?

Both! The children replied.
We laughed. Laughed until
we remembered the universe is expanding,
that nuclear fission in the sun is the source

of our energy, that there is a first & last breath
being taken right now. And that’s when we deleted
either/or from the dictionary,
inserted a photo of two hands instead.

That’s when we learned to read
the faint wrinkle lines in our palms.
Couldn’t find any word that looked like poverty.
We began to sew.