Homemade masks hanging from a laundry rack.
The first few were rough, but I’m getting the hang of sewing masks.

I was always a pleated-mask kind of woman. But now, after struggling to get the pleats even and hating that I have to iron them after washing, I have completely switched over to the no-pleats team.

Of course, I’ll keep the pleated ones I’ve already made, for they represent sweat and blood. Or at least frustration and swears. But from now on, I’m all about Type C from Craft Passion.

I’m extremely grateful to the site’s creator for making the patterns available for free.

And now…

Forty years from now,
Curled up on the couch with my grandchildren,
Will I tell them the story of the Days of Coronavirus?

About how we spent weekends sewing masks from scraps of fabric
Using pipe cleaners for nose clips
And T-shirt yarn for ear straps—

Will I tell them of leaving a stack by the front entrance
For when the door was opened for deliveries?

Will I tell them of the masks I messed up,
The ones so thick with filter that I couldn’t breathe?
The ones too big for their mothers,
The ones too small?

Will I open a dusty box
And pull out yellowed starry masks,
And tell them of how, every time we went past the front gate,
We wore one?

Will they look at photographs of us
Wearing masks filled with coffee filters—
Pleats crooked,
Showing off our handiwork—
And laugh?

I hope so.

Published by helenkamakura

Helen is a Canadian writer and innkeeper based in Kamakura, Japan, where she lives with her Japanese husband and two children. If money became obsolete, she would happily accept peaches, fresh peas, and sun-warmed cherry tomatoes in exchange for her labour.

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