One nation—woven of a firm warp
and an infinitely varied weft
the threads of society creating
a cloak of warmth and beauty
which at once shelters and allows
freedom on movement, a garment to live in
until on a shattered morning of knives
of smoke and thunder
the fabric is torn with a great and searing pain
The gathering of threads begins:
A man will not leave the side of a disabled friend,
A death for love nobler than a death for hate.
A chaplin falls while giving last rites to a fallen firefighter,
A death for love more godly than a death for hate. ...
Blood has been taken, but thousands live up to give.
Rivalries are set aside and hands joined agaist the rend.
A baby is born to a father who fell from the sky,
A gift of love that will continue a ruptured thread.
The cloak was woven on a loom built strong and true
of old growth timber and tempered steel.
The threads were spun of wondrous fiber from every shore
The humble and the exotic mingled their strength and beauty.
The cloak was woven with care, with sweat, with patience,
with passion, and with prayer.
The repair will not be invisible. For there can be no forgetting.
it will be done is red, white, and blue, silver-flecked with tears,
gold-flecked with faith and hope.
To some the splices will constitute a patch,
a scar which speaks of tearing;
others will see a badge for heroes.
We are gathering the threads.
The cloak will be whole again
and worn perhaps less casually,
knowing the sharpness of the brambles,
knowing of what the threads are spun
and the virtues in its weaving.