To Make Paste by Win Frederick

Win Frederick is a writer based in Grand Rapids, MI by way of Las Vegas, NV by way of Barbados, by way of the West African diaspora. If they’re not reading or writing, they’re probably cooking or talking about one of those three things on Instagram (@yeswincan).

Statement from the Author: I wrote it last December while visiting home. It’s not an original thought, but home can be a place as much as it can be a people. My family and so many others have cobbled together rich and beautiful homes–literally and figuratively–despite being given inadequate tools for the job sometimes. As for the form of the poem, it was written in free verse but with internal rhymes. Of course, there is also the slight mirroring of the first and second halves of the poem. But I will leave interpretation of conventions up to the reader.

We are a pieced together kind of people,
Crafting permanence out of the temporary

From water and flour, we learned to make paste
Stirring until the batter was even,
a gyre in the hand of a god

A fool would use our glue for food
Not knowing hunger the way that we do

Not knowing hunger the way that we do
A fool would use our glue for food

Whisking until the batter is smooth, like a gyre
In the hand of god, with water and flour,
we learned to make paste

Grafting permanence onto the temporary
A people pieced together, we dared to be,

And so we are: a recipe for making it this far

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