Delicate Fabric // by Iris Craver

I’ve used safety pins to hold together bra straps and the hem on a skirt.
There were big safety pins colored pink and blue for cloth diapers
and I bit my lip trying hard not to poke my dear baby’s tender skin.
I’ve used safety pins to hold together coats when I’d lost a button
and pinned red valentines on my mother’s blouse cause she was old and I loved her so big.
Now I’m wearing safety pins on my sweaters and my purse as a way to let people know that I am safe.
I will not poke their tender skin no matter what color and it does matter.
I wear a safety pin cause I’m feeling sort of like I’ve lost more than a button.
I’m wearing a safety pin as a way to try to hold the delicate fabric of our community together.

Reflective Essay by Iris Craver

I wrote this piece shortly after the first travel ban issued by the Republican Administration in 2017. Some people started wearing safety pins as a way to let others know there was someone near who would stand by them if things turned ugly (which they have!). I know that the pins have been criticized, but still, to me, they were a symbol of what I want for my community.

Last year, some friends of mine were inspired by my poem and created beautiful safety pin jewelry which they sold at the women’s march and used the money to support a community agency. A local potter made a bowl with my poem written around the edge and the inside. It has been on display at a local art gallery. So, this little piece has touched a few lives and this gives me some comfort.


Iris Craver lives in North Lawrence, Kansas, just off the banks of the Kaw River. She enjoys leading creative writing groups in the community and is thankful for her day job as a college professor at Washburn University in Topeka. Iris is a nationally certified poetry therapist and completed her training with Kay Adams through the Therapeutic Writing Institute in Denver, Colorado. She recently published a book titled “Write to the Source ~ A Journaling Guide for Recovery”. Iris also is a gardener, herbalist, grandmother, traveler, and friend.

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