NaPoWriMo Day 14: Jane Kite – Patched up and repaired

We’re two weeks into NaPoWriMo! I hope you’re still having fun and doing lots of writing. Here’s today’s prompt from Jane Kite.

Today I’d like you to think about and write about something you’ve mended or someone else has mended.  It might be something tangible – the last two things I mended were the pipe at the back of the washing machine after it flooded the kitchen and a hole in my favourite gloves which had been annoying me for months and took only about a minute when I finally got round to stitching it – or it can be something intangible like mending a relationship or mending the world.  You could think about how different your chosen subject is before it broke, while it was broken and after it was repaired, or what tools and abelites you needed to do it.  

My poem is about patching up my accent after I’d lost the one I grew up with.

Patch

Where your accent was removed they stitched a scrap
of flower-print cotton from a summer frock
sewn with shirring elastic – you can stretch those vowels out
and sound not at all like anyone you ever knew.
Accent is like soil, rock, family.

Where it was taken there’s a hole.
A virtual laryngectomy was done
and they might as well have cut into your brain.
Patch it with flesh-pink plastic or pirate black,
accent is like wood-grain, skin-silk, velvet.

The gap closed over with hard scar tissue.
It might crack at screaming pitch, just a little bit
and there’s an oddness you can’t quite give a name to,
as if you’ve come from nowhere, no patch.
Accent is like cast-iron, dog-ears, wear-and-tear,

falls from a tongue tip, lives in the momentary
stopping of a glottis in the quirk of a mouth.
Then it’s a guessing game, where do you come from,
how can you patch it right.
Accent is like river, land, property, like family.

Jane Kite

Jane Kite lives in Otley, West Yorkshire.  Her collection Distaff and pamphlet Phobia and the girl published by Half Moon Press, are available via her website janekite.co.uk.  A pamphlet The Blanket will be published in April 2022 by Maytree Press.

Please share your responses to today’s prompt either in the comments or via email. The best submissions will be featured in future podcasts.

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