The Constant Loom
I weave the stretch of cloth and draw
it tight, ready to unpick and start again.
My thumb snags on a pin. The pale
threads turn to red, I am pricked to rage.
I recall our wedding night when I oiled
your shoulders, finger-dried your hair,
joined you in our bed. O fickle husband!
sweet-talking your way into every woman’s
heart while I, your constant wife, straddle
my loom keeping my vow. Twenty years you keep
travelling while I hold off with false promises
suitors swarming at the gates.
The one with the scorching smile,
the one with swivelling hips, the sweet boy
with a voice seductive as harp song. I could’ve
had them all. My maidservants did to their great cost.
Now it’s time I revoked my vow, this shroud will be
completed soon, my thread-raw fingers racing skeins
across the spools, the pooling fabric telling a lament for
my lost years and for the twitching feet of the hanged maids.