Last night when my work was done,
And my estranged hands
Were becoming mutually interested
In such forgotten things as pulses,
I looked out of a window
Into a glittering night sky.

And instantly
I began to feather-stitch a ring around the moon.

More by Hazel Hall

Two Sewing

The Wind is sewing with needles of rain.
With shining needles of rain
It stitches into the thin
Cloth of earth. In,
In, in, in.
Oh, the wind has often sewed with me.
One, two, three.

Spring must have fine things
To wear like other springs.
Of silken green the grass must be
Embroidered. One and two and three.
Then every crocus must be made
So subtly as to seem afraid
Of lifting colour from the ground;
And after crocuses the round
Heads of tulips, and all the fair
Intricate garb that Spring will wear.
The wind must sew with needles of rain,
With shining needles of rain,
Stitching into the thin
Cloth of earth, in,
In, in, in,
For all the springs of futurity.
One, two, three.

Hours

I have known hours built like cities,
House on grey house, with streets between
That lead to straggling roads and trail off,
Forgotten in a field of green;

Hours made like mountains lifting
White crests out of the fog and rain,
And woven of forbidden music—
Hours eternal in their pain.

Life is a tapestry of hours
Forever mellowing in tone,
Where all things blend, even the longing
For hours I have never known.

Mending

Here are old things:
Fraying edges,
Ravelling threads;
And here are scraps of new goods,
Needles and thread,
An expectant thimble,
A pair of silver-toothed scissors.
Thimble on a finger,
New thread through an eye;
Needle, do not linger,
Hurry as you ply.
If you ever would be through
Hurry, scurry, fly!
Here are patches,
Felled edges,
Darned threads,
Strengthening old utility,
Pending the coming of the new.
Yes, I have been mending …
But also,
I have been enacting
A little travesty on life.

Related Poems

Thinking of Work

A brief storm
blew the earth clean.

There was much 
to do: sun to put up,
clouds to put out,
blue to install,
limbs to remove,
grass to implant.

(The grass failed.
We ordered new grass.)

A limb had cracked
in half in the short storm,
short with its feeling.

We saw its innards,
all the hollow places.

Something flew out of
the window and then
the window flew out of the window.

In the gloaming, in the roiling night

The hurt returns as it always intended—it is tender
as the inside of my thighs, it is as blue, too. O windless,

            wingless sky, show me your empire of loneliness,
let me spring from the jaws of what tried to kill me.

Let me look at your face and see a heaven worth having, all
                         your sorry angels falling off a piano bench, laughing.

Do you burn because you remember darkness? Outside
the joy is clamoring. It is almost like the worst day of your life

                                      is ordinary for everyone else.

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

Id wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, hed call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of loves austere and lonely offices?