Sunday, August 14, 2016


Pull a needle from the cushion.
Mine is too weak to see its, now;
but thread by feel, by the give
when the thread finds its way,
and the resistance 
when it's drawn through against the odds.

What will we know later?
Not much. The sweetest hem will fail.
The kiss that fascinated, in the day,
will be perfunctory: received
as homage to antiquity.

If a breath inflates
a heart-locker deeper now than ever
still the ribs must shift against the fat,
bedded in gleaming white;
and a whole breath requires
first hauling the spine up straight.

Stitch by stitch around the cuff:
quick fencer's thrust
and tender tug, and finally
knotting off, again by feel, and
cinching it home. I hope to die this way,
a tientas, groping 
for an unknown certainty.


Sabine said...

This is moving, calming and sad. Thank you, poet.

Dale said...

Thanks so much, Sabine!

Jeff said...

Gosh, this is lovely, and such an apt choice of imagery. (I'm a rare male needle-felter who lives with a woman who sews and knits, so I genuinely appreciate what you did here.)

Dale said...

Hey, many thanks, Jeff!