Seashell not Brass

Paul buttoned his shirt.
He unbuttoned it.
He buttoned it again.
He buttoned it eyes open.
And eyes closed.
He buttoned it slowly.
And quickly.
He tried buttoning the shirt top to bottom.
Then bottom to top.

As he buttoned the shirt
Paul wondered
why the button
did not fill the buttonhole
but simply held thread
tied to the shirt in the buttonhole.

He thought of the differences
between buttoning-unbuttoning
and buckling-unbuckling
the belt holding up his jeans.

Paul thought of a woman
pushing a child into the world
through birthing.
As long as the umbilical cord
was attached
how like a button the child was.

And how like a lost button
the child would soon be.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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