Hazel Hall

Three Songs for Sewing

A fibre of rain on a windowpane 
Talked to a stitching thread:
In the heaviest weather I hold together
The weight of a cloud.

To the fibre of rain on a windowpane
The talkative stitch replied:
I hold together with the weight of a feather
The heaviest shroud.

My needles says: Don’t be young,
Holding visions in your eyes,
Tasting laughter on your tongue.
Be very old and very wise,
And sew a good seam up and down
In white cloth, red cloth, blue and brown.

My needle says: What is youth
But eyes drunken with the sun
Seeing farther than the truth,
Lips that call, hands that shun
The many seams they have to do
In white cloth, red cloth, brown and blue?

One by one, one by one,
Stitches of the hour run
Through the fine seams of the day,
Till like a garment it is done
And laid away.

One by one the days go by,
And suns climb up and down the sky;
One by one their seams are run—
As Time’s untiring fingers ply
And life is done.