THE QUEEN SELLS LACE
to fund the war; I'm thinking about what it means
to be female, if Eve sewed leaves with ancient strings
to cover the loins of husband and sons.
After eating the fruit does anything else matter?
I prick my fingers on a needle, jobless again,
embroidery, a new hobby to pass the time. They always
do this in Pride & Prejudice. The height
of ladyhood, embellishing laces and runners,
putting beauty down on the cloth. A flower, a bird,
women's stories. In the museum last weekend, we looked
at South African relics. A married woman's beaded
leather apron, 1960, encased in glass, as if
fifty years ago was the genesis. My vintage apron
trimmed in lace hangs on a hook in the kitchen;
its flowered pattern reminds me of something I can't
place, something from the beginning. I wait for you
to come home and have dinner with me, wanting
to show you the colored floss I sewed
into the tea towel, my swollen fingers.
Lesley Dame is a writer and editor living in Florida. Co-founder and poetry editor for damselfly press, she has also served as poetry editor for The Fourth River, Chatham University's literary journal, where she received her MFA. Lesley is a co-host and poetry instructor for Tidal Writers Workshops in Saint Simons Island. She is also the author of Letting Out the Ghosts, a poetry chapbook.