The Weavers

As sometimes, in the gentler months, the sun
will return
                            before the rain has altogether
                                                       stopped and through

this lightest of curtains the curve of it shines
with a thousand
                           inclinations and so close
                                                      is the one to the

one adjacent that you cannot tell where magenta
for instance begins
                          and where the all-but-magenta
                                                      has ended and yet

you’d never mistake the blues for red, so these two,
the girl and the
                          goddess, with their earth-bred, grassfed,

wools, devised on their looms
transitions so subtle no
                          hand could trace nor eye discern
                                                      their increments,

yet the stories they told were perfectly clear.
The gods in their heaven,
                          the one proposed. The gods in
                                                      heat, said the other.

And ludicrous too, with their pinions and swansdown,
fins and hooves,
                          their shepherds’ crooks and pizzles.
                                                      Till mingling

with their darlings-for-a-day they made
a progeny so motley it
                          defied all sorting-out.
                                                      It wasn’t the boasting

brought Arachne all her sorrow
nor even
                          the knowing her craft so well.
                                                      Once true

and twice attested.
It was simply the logic she’d already
                          taught us how
                                                      to read.

From Prodigal: New and Selected Poems: 1976–2014, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Copyright © 2015 by Linda Gregerson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.