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Poetry

With more persistent stitchery
I might breach the red intelligence of berries
taking French-knot shapes among embroidered
leaves, or bring a spirit hovering
in the satin-stitch of a hummingbird’s
small throat; while outlining a dragonfly
I may divine its mythic origin
in dragon—fiery, winged, then tricked
into an insect’s form, but keeping
flashes of the fabled—like all of us
who come from far, bringing stories
of vain passions once pursued. What I came to
as a child, pulled up outside the needlework
shop: a window with such breezy sheers
that I fell endlessly through, my hopeless thread
a tangle under sewing hoops, snag and snarl
of vivid yarn the way our world looks,
and then the thrill to hear the shopkeeper
say: Be still. It is the fabric’s finished side
that’s visible from heaven.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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