Making Light Work


I work away,

this way, that way,

such light work,

weighing heavy

so little light,

less as night falls silently.

I sew, 

so tired, 

so worn, 

afraid, frayed, 


bearing it,

barely a sound as

stitches are quietly born

of my labour.


My needle needs feeding

with its eye so small, 

for sewing tiny steps.

Its thread treads 

across the cloth 

following the fold,  

the needle ducks through

a lace hedge,

a ditch of piping,

furrowed tucks

hems and verges.


Dense layers, 

clods of cloth,

baulk at the intrusions,

fight my tender fingertips

pierced to match 

my piece of work,

more nimble

minus thimble.

I need to press on,

with threaded needle

taping, shaping

pricking, licking 

the tail of the thread

twisting, knotting 

tugging each stitch

gently but firmly.


My hands 

know the well worn pathways,

stretching and rolling the cloth,

feeling the will in its grain.

Twill’s tough love,

wool’s warm pull,

stiff upper poplin,

coy veils of voile,

draped shapes in crepe,

crumpling linen.

Then snipping, ripping,

nipping, clipping, 

I tease these creases, 

At ease, pleased,

no pins now,

I feel the thrill

of the finish.

Then a sharp slip, 

just my haste,

I taste the blood,

But a pinprick brings good luck.


Myra Gilbert











Making Light Work – by Myra Gilbert

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