A Stitch in Time
In tedium time
cramping fingers of arthritis
upper back and shoulder soreness
eyes refuse to focus
Stitches lost in herstory in leather silk wool cotton
alpaca glass buttons elm bark shells
beads flax stalks felt feathers
pineapple fiber raffia quills linen
hemp sequins rawhide agave leaf
coins coral silver gold
stone straw bark palm leaf
sheepskin mirror velvet jute
Young girls learn to sew but not read or write
learn to stay immobile at home
learn silence with heads down
Like spiders stitching a web, women get caught in it.
Their psyches sewn into every stitch to reinforce
their isolation and modesty. Every stitch holding
together culture to celebrate in finery
to remove the ordinary
to impress others
to please the gods
to identify tribe and geography
How often do they prick their fingertips on spinning
wheels; and become legend in fairy tales.
Sewing circles and quilting bees; their humble answer
sanctioned by men folk. Hours spent stitching vestments
for altars and priests at rites they would never officiate.
prayer stone wrapper
“Women should never learn to sew, and if they do they
shouldn’t admit to it,” says Katherine to her lover in “The
English Patient” by Michael Ondaatji.
They would s
d r g e o n s.