Undone by My Own Hands by Angela Hoffman

Undone by My Own Hands
-After Mary Oliver, “It Was Early”

I’m in grade five. I notice a snag in my tights.
I pull the loose thread. The unraveling begins.
I try in vain to leave it alone, but I continue to pick at the flaw
until one half of my tights sags around my ankle,
leaving the other half to rest above my knee.

I try everything to close the gap:
knotting, self-pity, paper clipping, hiding,
but come to terms that the only way out is to stand,
allowing all in the room to gaze upon this mess I’ve made.
Sometimes things have to fall apart in order to see
the blessedness hiding underneath.


Angela Hoffman’s poetry collections include Resurrection Lily and Olly Olly Oxen Free (Kelsay Books). She placed third in the WFOP Kay Saunders Memorial Emerging Poet in 2022 and was a runner up in the 2023 Wisconsin Sijo competition. Her poems have been published in Agape Review, Amethyst Review, As Surely As the Sun, Blue Heron Review, Braided Way, Bramble, Cosmic Daffodil Journal, Moss Piglet, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Muleskinner Journal, Of Rust and Glass, Poetica Review, Solitary Plover, The Orchards Poetry Journal, The Poet Magazine, Verse-Virtual, Visual Verse, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Museletter and Calendar, Whispers and Echoes, Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge, Writing In A Woman’s Voice, and Your Daily Poem. Her poems have also appeared in Amethyst Review Poetry Anthology: All Shall Be Well and The Poet Anthology: Our Changing Earth. She writes a poem a day. Angela lives in rural Wisconsin.

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