Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Safety Pin
          after Wallace Stevens

By Robert Wynne


When used correctly
the safety pin pierces fabric twice
to hold everything together.
A tiny metal fist
cradles the pointed apology
of form for function.
Small, sleek arms stretch open
from the taut, coiled hinge.
Each pin serves as a reminder
that we are all one,
links in a single chain
mooring us to this land.
Burn the tip black
before plunging it
into the ripe blister.
Drain slowly enough
to remember this pain.
Hatred rises like bile,
unleashing itself freely
from throat after throat.
It’s a beheaded blackbird
hanging from a Yield sign,
a safety pin ripped free
from a bloody ear.
With enough different colors
you can construct a rainbow.
Oh, to be like God,
maker of rainbows, sadness
and self-preservation.
You may need a whole box
to repair the torn flag.
Try to line the stripes up
so it doesn’t look like
the stars are weapons.
It’s pretty shocking
just how punk rock
inclusiveness has become.
I used to think
holes in my jeans
were a big concern.
Perspectives change.
Safety is right there in the name,
offering itself up as the symbol
we wish we didn’t need.
Try to remember where you were
when your friends resorted
to cowering in their houses.
My collar glints
in the remaining light.
There is a tear right at the seam.
Small pieces of bent metal
become the hands of a clock
counting down four years.