They carried the sign of the free.
They signaled with it.
They warmed with it.
They tourniqueted it.

They held pots with it.
They collected edibles with it.
They blocked the sun with it.

They slung it as first aid.
They slung it as David deathed Goliath.
They swung it at staff’s end.

They moved cordage with it.
They made washcloths of it.
They made sweatbands of it.

It was a hobo pack.
It was hotspot padding.
It cleaned firearms.
It oiled them.
It wiped them.

They marked trails with it.
They made dishrags of it.

It was a napkin.
It was an eye patch and blindfold.

It was a prewater filter on coffee colored mornings.
It cleaned spex, goggles, glasses, field glasses, binoculars, face shields, wind shields, hoods, grills, and fenders.

They made earmuffs of it.
They bound stones with it and tossed lines through the arbor.
They made dust masks of it to filter breath or conceal identity.
They wet it and wore it in hot weather.

They sneezed into it.
They received a silent “Bless You” or “Gesundheit” or “Salud” or other expressions for giving purpose to a square of cloth as it shielded against superstition.

That . . . that’s about it . . .

They could have worn it nude . . .
. . . in the nude . . . like . . .
Loincloths . . .
. . . but they carried comfort in nudity and a needless




Inspired by:



“The Things They Carried vs Forrest Gump”:


“30 Uses for a Bandana”:



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