2010 Zann Carter

Zann Carter

Terre Haute, IN US

Mangos for Breakfast by the Startling Bougainvillea

(Cotton, silk, and wool yarns, woven, crocheted, stitched)

I intended to create a wrap for walking on the beach at sunrise. I wasn’t sure just where that beach was. However, as I worked it became clear that the place  being evoked was South Florida where I grew up and lived until the age of forty.

This is Coconut Grove, the Atlantic Ocean,  Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach, Key West, the Gulf of Mexico. This is the clean ocean winds, the backyard fruit trees, the wild parrots and iguanas, the brilliant exotic blooming things, the bright mornings that give way to drowsy afternoons. and the sort of drifting time experienced where the seasonal rhythms are far more subtle than in northern latitudes.

As I worked, I was also participating in NaPoWriMo, the National Poetry Month challenge to write a poem every day. Midway through the month and the wrap, I wrote the following poem. It gave me the title and crystallized for me the mood and the meaning of place that South Florida has in my heart.

Here by the sea
time becomes what it really is:
unbound & spiraling...
At dawn birds sing tapestries
splashed with the newest sun
and dogs bark holes in them.
Rigging on sailboats is an embroidery of bells
and they ring in the wind from the sea.
Water tells an incessant love story
(always with an undertow)
and the sky exhales a rosegold light
that pours over a beach strewn
with sacred geometry
and seaweed and things shimmering
with salt crystals.
Breakfast is mangos by startling bougainvillea
and after, sweet hibiscus tea.
And everyone is here.  Everyone.
Everyone ever
loved by you unbound


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