Journal » Trout 13 » Making Siapo: 2. Peeling The Bast [Cherie Barford]
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Making Siapo: 2. peeling the bast

Cherie Barford

the bark is rolled around a hand
flattened and subdued

soft and pliable
a knife prises the bast
from the coarse outer bark

I've seen women do this
with a Madonna smile

hair softly drawn back
lava-black and piled high
fixed with plastic turtle-shell combs

they sit
legs curled to one side
wielding knives from ample hips
illuminated by tropical flowers
sewn quietly into dresses

bit by bit
inner and outer bark
are peeled from each other

if the bark were a mouth
it would be screaming by now

Bast = soft inner bark


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© Copyright 2006 Cherie Barford & Trout.