a poem in the bag
We wanted to bring some lockdown cheer, so we combined two of life's great joys: beautiful things for free, and poetry. The cue was simple: write a poem on the theme of appreciation; if you win, you get the bag. And not just any old bag, but a handmade leather and Kitenge fabric bag by Mel&Kai.
At this point we must be honest: we were hoping this would be a big deal. Loads of entries brimming with inspiration. Poetry going viral. But, with poetry being the genially underrated creature it is, that was not the turnout: only four poems were submitted.
And they were brilliant. They made up in depth what our campaign lacked in volume. The winning poem was touching and truthful, and enough to get us thinking we should do this annually, that poetry is integral to our culture of storytelling and celebrating soul.
So here it is, the winning poem by Irene de Kock (sidenote: isn't she beautiful?):
"I am safe at home with Someone I truly love.
I am safe, and all that is mine is with me.
I have my mind and my health.
I have everything I was created with...
My eyes, my creativity, and my hope.
I thank God for my hope.
Sometimes I miss the things that were never really mine...
Things like friends and fairytales.
I thank God for them too.
I thank God that He has shown me so many things to enjoy...things that were also never really mine...
Things like the ocean and mountains. I thank Him for the promise that I will, soon, see these things again. I will touch them and feel them.
And even though they will still never really be mine, they will always really be His."
Thank you to our four brave entrants, to the Mel&Kai team for the gift, and to you, the reader, for sharing in the story. We hope this poem brings as much inspiration and perspective to you as it did to us.