Searching for the round
in the basket,
as I hang it on the wall.
Symmetry is something which has yet
to come into my hands.

I loved the expression
“All things want to be round,”
and wrote it on a card.

I think it was the only
good thing I got
from going back to school,
except that my hatred of school
drove me to make baskets.

The cold art teacher
I offended by saying
I wanted to mess around
with stuff.

“We don’t mess around,”
she said haughtily,
and the word stuff
angered her as well.

I simply wanted
to expand my territory.
But as my daughter said,
“What do you think
this is – a school?”

Words were my domain,
I felt free to use them
as I chose,
like experimenting
with my hair.

That woman, who named
herself after a color,
and wore no other color
but that,
was my last straw.
Like a doctor,
willing to talk to me
only after I was
properly degraded.

“I have backed my way into my life, a woman there said to me.
I have re-acted my way into mine.

I took me thirty years
to finish college
and I can’t think of a
thing I learned.
But it did provoke me
to make baskets,
to sit in a circle of people,
wet reed rubbing my legs,
to weave the cattails
I picked in silence.

I have always believed in anti-dote.
I went back to what was natural,
making baskets to learn
how to make my life
with my own hands,

As now, when I
rotate the reed vessel,
cattails I picked
woven in its bottom,
as I hang it on the wall,
searching for the
round in the basket.