At The Repair Shop
by Jahara A. Solaiman
“Ma’am, how can I help you?”
“Do you have a fix for worn-out nerves?
Can you glue together a broken heart?
Maybe a new coat of paint for faded loyalty?
Or perhaps a replacement for failed expectations?”
“Madam, I am sorry but there are things that another’s tools will never fix!”
A weekly benediction awaits
The clothes of one’s existence.
Seams, sleeves, cuffs, collars, pockets, hems,
Coloreds and whites
Subjected to routine
Purification from the impurities inflicted by a life lived.
Into the wash they go—
A soul’s armor subjected to a cleanse,
Wrought by suds of love and self-care.
A scrubbing to dissipate the stubborn stains of one’s frailties,
A thorough rinse to reaffirm the strengths.
Hung to dry in the sun’s golden blessing and the air’s gentle whispers,
Then ironed, folded
And worn anew.
That things stay the same
The world is a whirlpool of change.
The universe relentlessly rules
One must weather
The struggle within and without,
To resist the urge to remain in the comfort
Of the soul’s shell,
To swim against the unwavering current,
To reach one’s destined shore.
Jahara A. Solaiman is an instructor at the English Department of Mindanao State University-Marawi City, where she teaches English, literature, and art appreciation. Her earlier works have appeared in other literary anthologies, the most recent being Lawanen II (Gantala Press) and Ani 40: Katutubo (Cultural Center of the Philippines). In addition to creative writing, she loves imparting her love of art (she works with colored pencils, watercolors, and acrylic) to her students.
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