It is autumn again
and I’m not ready.

Handy then
that you should give me

this scrap of hessian, the rough,
dumb country stuff
that I adhere to.

Whoever stitched it
sews as I do,

with an uneven hand,
with the understanding

that even torn things
may be patched together.

I need this flint arrowhead
for there’s flesh to be cut from old wounds,

and now the cold
has come again

I’ll take this button
for my coat—

its pockets may be empty
but into the lining

I have sewn
a minute envelope.

It holds the twenty-six letters
of the alphabet

and one full-stop;
potent as a bullet

or a kiss.