Safety Pin

What’s “safe” about a safety pin?
Its sharp point hooks into a one-eyed metal shield.
You can carry the pin in your pocket
And it won’t poke through
To damage the fabric or wound your skin.

A shirt safety-pinned together is a sign of neglect.
The boy’s mother doesn’t care
Or can’t afford the supplies for sewing on a button.

Home from the hospital with a new baby,
I cannot make the large pin pierce the cloth diaper.
How can I be so unprepared?
My mother knows the secret.
Keep the pins, point down, in a cake of soap.

My father’s vision is too poor, his hand too shaky
To fasten a safety pin.
Yet, cleaning out his dresser drawers,
I discover a vast array of safety pins
Silvery, copper colored, all sizes
A supply sufficient to hold together his unraveling world.

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