with their sturdy legs, milk-flat breasts, & embroidered panels of muslin –
who deployed on overnight greyhounds leaving their children in ohio while
they took on world leaders with needles & thread greased with beeswax –
who could not bear to think of us as lost in a nuclear war, dissolved by splitting
atoms as miraculously as they’d conceived us. we ate pizza & watched nickelodeon
while they wedged themselves before any lawmakers or gods who’d hear
prayers for non-proliferation. that late summer afternoon in 1985 they
so believed in their fabric activism – thought by unfolding & tying together
each piece they could hug evil out of the world & make peace.
oh, mothers of that generation: the world is still a vortex of hate.
those men did not listen or act & you returned home to trim crusts from bread.
we’ve grown up & as you’d hoped, most were not lost –
but we’ve seen believing isn’t enough. blanket the world. blanket as a noun &
verb. cover the earth with your stitchery, but the feet always find their way out.
Megan Neville is a writer and educator based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of the chapbook Rust Belt Love Song (Game Over Books, 2019), and her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets (Poets.org), Pleiades, Cherry Tree, Cream City Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Boiler, McSweeney's, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. She is a poetry reader for Split Lip Magazine, and was a finalist in Write Bloody's 2019 book contest. Find her on Twitter @MegNev.