James B. Nicola
The Weaver contrived the work of interlocking
Sheaves and stalks, braided, hooped, stiff
But bent, curved at the handle, flat on the bottom—
Flat enough to rest, that is. Blades strung
So cleverly that they do not cut, but contain.
It features a rib—and ribbing—, and at its heart
He placed a hopeful emptiness for us,
Who use the basket every day, to fill.
Some critics, doubtful and captious, like to pick
At the strands to unravel the work, but others of us
Dab drops of charity here and there, like spit,
And rub them in with faith which works like glue
To mend the thing along the seems so it
Won't unravel, but stay a basket at its heart.
James B. Nicola's poems have recently appeared in Shot Glass, the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, and Poetry East. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His first full-length poetry collection: Manhattan Plaza (2014); his second, Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (June 2016). A Yale graduate, James has been giving both theater and poetry workshops at libraries, literary festivals, schools, and community centers all over the country. More at sites.google.com/site/jamesbnicola.