Walking along the waters edge
her eyes, sharp as eagles,
scan the tender shoots of willow and red bud,
among the tangled mass of vines.
choosing carefully, she cuts
with skillful hands, brittle from years
of harvesting roots, and vines, and young branches,
For the tradition of making baskets.
She sits intently, soaking and
stripping bark off vines,
coiling and tying
plaiting and turning
singing the songs that weavers sing
beneath the oaks, when loons return
In and out, up and over, like sunlight landing
dappled patterns on the forest floor,
that her fingers dance into rhythms,
of light and dark
thick and thin, on the basket bottom, sides and rim.
Honeysuckle and mondo vine,
fall into submission at her fingertips.
Surrendering to their metamorphosis,
a wildness subdued.
they give in to form and function,
to the warmth of the weft, the pull of sinew
as her hands
patient and precise,
gently weaves them into baskets
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