A Woman Knitting (Lilian Bowes Lyon)

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A Woman Knitting

A thousand years the flesh of the wool growing
Between my fingers, cast on or cast off
by shifting needles, by the unfertile bone,
The sturdily-flowing
wool was, for a thousand years, the tough
smooth strand of life, and I, the woman vigilant,
Wore my heavy crown.

The future between finger and thumb, informed,
fulfilled, made ponderable by the weight of longing, how must I wear it,
now my vision mended
Is strictly wound into a ball of pain?
Whence came the wild-bee stitches warmly thronging
as though mid-summer’s murmuring thoughts had swarmed?
Ah bloom of flesh! A thousand years are ended,
and I, the spirit, the vagrant, am uncrowned again.