At the latest yard sale, I choose a basket
from among a throng of baskets all pleading
to be chosen, waving their handles wildly,
opening their mouths, as if they are all
calling out at once: Fill me, fill me.
I have no purpose unless there is
something put inside my circle…
How true, this chant. This desire.
Bread basket. Sewing basket.
Easter. Rice. Gift. There are
baskets woven so tight they carry
water, so dense they keep out earth,
so loose that grain sifts down from
the chaff. A place for the lost,
collector of odd things, the one-off
that needs safe harbor.
How like a basket I was, and perhaps,
still am. How I want to feel my being
filled with something, to be of use
—real use—worthy of the work entrusted
to me. How I wanted my body filled;
to bear, to carry, to hold safe and never
falter. Woven tightly against the world,
yet supple, to cushion the buffets of life.
To be chosen, taken up, a hand encircling
my own handle, a purpose that claims me
and makes me whole.
Yvette Viets Flaten, (Eau Claire, WI) writes award-winning fiction and poetry. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking, reading, and she makes a point to write every day, following Sinclair Lewis’ advice to “make black marks on white paper.” Her recent work has appeared in Blue Heron Review, Nightingale and Sparrow, Silver Birch Press, Barstow and Grand, and North Dakota Quarterly.