The First Flag

first flag

I was stitched  in a room

with a low ceiling and  window

letting in cool air and the nod

of morning glories.

 

I was stitched  by fingers

trained for needle craft

and weaving cloth,

 

determining the heat

on a child’s feverish brow

 

and dipping strings in wax

that would  light the house

with more than a taper’s flame.

 

I was stitched in the name

of unity,  a wreath of stars

 

on  blue dark as the slate

tiles that led from garden to street

where a large bell echoed

freedom in its silent state,

 

on a field of hemp

dyed partially red

as  sunrise that inflamed

the summer sky

 

and white as driftwood that found

refuge on a rugged shore.

 

I was stitched with homespun thread

by a woman

who believed in peace.

________________________________________________

Note — The original flag was actually made of industrial hemp which was a popular cloth choice in 18th c. America. It was durable and grown by farmers for that purpose among others. 

5 comments

  1. “I was stitched with homespun thread

    by a woman

    who believed in peace.”

    Ah, Wendy,

    You have given that flag an authentic voice. The closing stanza
    just blew me away.

    Thanks for this timely treasure!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. The people who design flags and the people who make flags intend them for greater purposes. No flag is ever intended to carry some of the baggage later heaped upon it. This is well written and a timely salute to a national treasure.

    Like

  3. Hi Sarah

    So glad you enjoyed the poem and deeply appreciate your wonderful response! Hope all is well with you. Here, we felt the tremors of two significant earthquakes between July 4th and last night. We are all okay in my area, about 150 miles from the town where it occurred. Just ran to the market for water and all the shelves were practically empty, people stock up quickly went a quake occurs. We found 4 cases, luckily, in Vons shopping market.

    Hi Michael,

    You’re so right about how no “flag is intended to carry some of the baggage later heaped upon it”. The flag is a symbol of unity and a belief in something good and strong about a nation. Unfortunately, there are those who make a political game out of it or statement. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your perspective!

    Take care
    my best to you both,
    Wedndy

    Like

  4. Love the images in your poem.

    And the driftwood that found refuge
    on rugged shores also brought to mind
    the immigrants who found refuge on these rugged shores.

    Great last lines.

    Much enjoyed reading, Wendy.
    take care,
    Kerri

    Like

  5. Hi Kerri,

    Your kind words and intuitive insight here are deeply appreciated. Thank you so much, my dear friend. for taking the time to read and contemplate my work. As always, it’s so good hearing from you.

    Hope all is well with you and yours,
    take care
    Wendy

    Like

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