American Craftsmanship

5″ x 7″ cherry wood block print on Somerset paper
with Graphic Chemical intense black ink

American Craftsmanship

The basket’s under glass surrounded by

security and lights and other works

produced by primitive Americans.

It’s bottom, tight enough for acorn mush,

flares out into a willow filigree,

a lazy-squaw stitch making up the sides;

and red bud strips are woven at the top

to form a geometrical design.

The gallery is carpeted in gray;

the walls are egg shell white. Ladies dressed

from Nordstroms quietly converse about

proportion, color, line, simplicity.

Helicopters with their booms extended

spray the marsh and river for mosquitoes.

The women take the year old willow wands

and split them with their teeth in perfect thirds

and try to teach their daughters how to weave

traditional designs with shaking hands.

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