Beadwork Reflection – Three Poems

an other education


you cannot call this lecture, my pens

stay capped, my pages blank, my books

are closed

but there is learning here

the beads tumble along strings, my fingers

stumble, pricked by needle tip, unfamiliar

patterns, as we follow shadowed footsteps

and there is learning here

my skin feels the slide of thread, looks too pale

against the red of berries, we strangers take up art

not ours in this small reconciliation

so there is learning here

we are not simple students here, not sieves,

not scribes, not ears, we are body and mind

side by side, we take and pass the gift

there is learning here







my mother teaches me to sew a button

she threads the needle, steady hands,

and shows me where to knot it, slides

the silvered tip through bright fabric,

dips in and out, dolphin-like, riding practiced

waves, twirls its pirouette and ties it off,

snips the end, and smiles.

i forget how to sew a button, and she teaches

me again, hands as steady, pale against dark thread.

i forget how to sew a button, and she teaches me

again, hands me thread and needle, tells my hands

to lead the dance.

he hands us thread and needle and bead

so i knot and weave and tie and remember

what my mother taught me.



beads and berries


strawberries bloom from fingertips,

glassy beads, green leaves, needle pricks,

unearthed art, the mending of broken hearts

lockpicks turning tumblers on haunted doors

history opening in our hands, ghost memories

of white skin and gunsmoke and blood running red

through fields where strawberries once grew

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