Blood Ties
by Mary Hotlen

    You could have
    taught me German, shared
    your warm, quilt-making, simmering
    cobbler art; and

    Spooned my arcana's
    dark, forested sustenance concocted
    by healers and dreamers anointed
    in motherwort witchery.

    But I was judged
    unworthy and wear my
    wrongness like a mud-splattered
    shoe whose shame prints disturb
    a white floor.

    I am badly joined, a
    covering of knotted nubs pieced by
    blind hands. My broken threads and
    small irregularities assure a place
    outside the circle of inclusion. You fear
    I might unravel.

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