Cotton Avenger

Steel can be too cold to be comforting,
and you need to have the right convictions for crusading.
Not everyone is called to perform orbit reversing heroics
or other red carpet worthy feats.

My stitches are the great-grandchildren
of thousands of practice threads joining scraps to buttons.
Each ancestral seam holds the lore of my origin story.
 It’s a far humbler tale, filled with earthbound bits
better suited to scaling trees instead of skyscrapers.

But to the hands that hold me, each homely stitch is a grace note,
bringing reassurance in a too big world.
The familiar fabric is the only talisman capable 
of shepherding in rest, and perhaps dreams of adventure.


Doll created by Zoe Swindell 


This two for one prompt. The Toads provided inspiration with this weekend's Play It Again theme, and I chose Dolls, Revisited . The doll that I chose to write about pictured above. He looked a bit like a superhero to me, reminding me of one I watched on a TV sitcom back in the 80's. I combined it with A Dash of Sunny's Prompt Night's Topic: Imperfection is Beautiful.  

40 comments:

  1. Rommy, if your rag doll could talk it would be reciting your poem. Most match your writing and aren't as clean cut as the one in the picture, it has store bought material.
    ..

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    1. The one in the picture is definitely a more refined piece than the homespun doll I described, but it reminded me so much of being a kid and watching The Greatest American Hero. I imagined it would have been so cool to have a toy version of it when I was little.

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  2. I love that the stitches are the great-grandchildren of those earlier sewers in the family. Made me think of the students creating the dolls, and their ancestors many years back. I especially love "each homely stitch a grace note." Just wonderful!

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    1. Coming up with that image made me smile too.

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  3. There's a very reassuring feel to this. A doll to love.

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    1. I'm glad I was able to convey that. :)

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  4. These are the words of a loved doll, a knowing doll... You've capture the soul of the inanimate in a glorious way, Rommy. I can sit with this doll and have an entire conversation. Because I know its history, its desires, its life...

    Just yummy!

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    1. This was a ton of fun to write. The second I saw that doll, it made me think of The Greatest American Hero, a TV show I watched as a kid way back in the 80's and the words came straight out from there.

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  5. This took me back to when I first began to sew. I began with doll clothes. My stitches were ugly, but they were magic threads to imagination. In a child's arms a beloved doll is a superhero.

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    1. Oh my first attempts at sewing were an absolute disgrace! I can't say I'm much better now, but I don't make half bad Japanese style fancy pouches that look like origami.

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  6. He is totally awesome...and definitely a super hero in my eyes. Wonderful words to describe his "specialness" :D XXX

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    1. I am thrilled that an accomplished doll maker enjoyed this piece. :)

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  7. Gosh Rommy :D this is such a gorgeous poem. I love the conversational tone and the image of threads holding together "each ancestral seam of origin story." Beautifully penned. Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights and for your constant love and support.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Thanks! The prompt you offered helped me build a nice layer into this little hero's personality.

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  8. I really how you tie those stitches to the past... it becomes the legacy and burden of your ancestors, which makes the doll a metaphor for ourselves... I could almost feel the itch of my own seams...

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    1. Can I tell how thrilled I am that aspect came across?

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  9. "My stitches are the great-grandchildren
    of thousands of practice threads joining scraps to buttons.
    Each ancestral seam holds the lore of my origin story.

    BEAUTIFUL. Really love this.

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  10. Some of the best crusades are undertaken quietly and diligently in the silent moments of day - a resolute quest for comfort and passing the story through time - who needs to be Joan of Arc when you can be a Cotton Avenger - no better warrior

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    1. I agree. Battles and wars are sometimes fought in the ordinary moments of the day.

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  11. That opening line is magnificent! Wow! I love the whole monologue of the superhero, all stitched together and trying to live up to his potential.

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    1. Thanks! I liked opening with some images alluding to better known heroes to point out this little guy's softness is an asset for his brand of heroics.

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  12. Wow, Rommy! You have gracefully stitched together the past and the present, "Each ancestral seam holds the lore of my origin story." And also turned the seemingly ordinary doll a treasure to behold.

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    1. Thank you. There were a lot of fun ideas to play with in this piece.

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  13. Oh, I love the doll, and your wonderfully woven words describe him perfectly ♥

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    1. The doll is cute isn't he? This was a fun prompt to work with. :)

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  14. Wonderful words my friend! I feel the love and I love that doll!!!

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  15. Great metaphors in this, and the stitching in the lines is expert, showing us how it all comes together with effort and application. We are what we make, and we also are what those before us have made.

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    1. I'm really glad the subtext is able to be seen between the seams.

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  16. "Each ancestral seam holds the lore of my origin story." how magically you've crafted beauty & also love your title...

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    1. It took me a bit to come up with one, but once "Cotton Avenger" popped up in my mind I knew I had to use it.

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  17. I love the care in this piece - the poem and the doll. There is beauty in the imperfection. Thanks.

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    1. The doll made a lovely bit of inspiration.

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  18. Replies
    1. Long may the good fight be fought!

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  19. Our comfort comes in many fabrics! Wonderful!

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