Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Needlework
By Hazel Hall
 
I
LENGTHS of lawn, and dimities,
  Dainty, smooth and cool—
In their possibilities
  Beautiful—
 
Stretch beneath my hand in sheets,        5
  Fragrant from the loom,
Like a field of marguerites
  All in bloom.
 
Where my scissors’ footsteps pass
  Fluttering furrows break,        10
As the scythe trails through the grass
  Its deep wake.
 
All my stitches, running fleet,
  Cannot match the tread
Of my thoughts whose wingèd feet        15
  Race ahead.
 
They are gathering imagery
  Out of time and space,
That a needle’s artistry
  May embrace.        20
 
Hints of dawn and thin blue sky,
  Breaths the breezes bear,
Wispy-waspy things that fly
  In warm air.
 
Bolts of dimity I take,        25
  Muslin smooth and cool;
These my fingers love to make
  Beautiful.
 
II
Crowds are passing on the street—
Tuck on tuck and pleat on pleat        30
Of people hurrying along,
Homeward bound—throng on throng.
Their work is finished, mine undone;
Still my stitches run.
 
I cannot watch the people go—        35
Fold on fold and row on row;
But I know each pulsing tread
Is spinning out a life’s fine thread;
I know the stars, like needle-gleams,
Are pricking through the sky’s wide seams;        40
And soon the moon must show its face,
Like a pearl button stitched in place.
All the long hours of the day
Are finished now and folded away;
Yet the hem is still undone        45
Where my stitches run.
 
 
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