For several months I’ve sat, almost every evening, undisturbed,
by the same window in the gathering gloom,
expecting nothing, wanting it all –
embroidering quietly with furrowed brow and busy hands,
filling the creamy blank muslin with visions in silk,
hoping – always hoping –
to get the pattern to a place where I’d be comfortable enough
to set the hoop aside and live a bit.
There have been those occasions, less rare than I’d like to admit,
when I’ve pushed the needle through carelessly
and gouged myself awake, startled into action to prevent
the bright and living blood from staining my stitches.
A fortnight ago,
during a quiet bloodless spell of stitching,
the crystal crash of a rock through a window
caught me dreaming.
I leapt from my chair with an involuntary shriek.
Dropping needle, hoop and thread I ran, heedless of the night,
out the door into the velvet blackness,
hoping to spy the miscreant who shattered
my glass and my silence.
Of course no such person waited,
having satisfied whatever destructive urges aimed the rock,
and had rushed away into the arms of darkness,
safe from my recriminations.
Turning to reenter my solemn shell of a life,
prepared again to stitch until my eyes could no longer
blink back tears of disappointment and exhaustion, I paused,
a sudden waft of childhood sweetness teasing my senses,
leading me instead back down the walk into the waiting world.
Following familiar perfume,
I remembered things from lives ago,
things buried deep, now stirring in the night:
the beauty of a summer day
when nothing but the voice of nature called,
small yellow butterflies skimming past my nose as I lay
flat out in the sun on grass so green it fairly shouted,
the smell of sweet clean earth and pear blossoms
washing down in the errant wind,
the black and white of knowing wrong from right,
the fairytale security of my birthright:
someday living happily ever after.
Down the deserted sidewalk these thoughts carried me,
’til I discovered the source of this hatching –
honeysuckle twining round a fence;
beloved arms come to treasure me,
yet shaking me awake.
I buried my face in the blossoms, gratefully inhaling
’til I was dizzy the nostalgic breath of dreams
long slumbering but stirring now.
Whirling, I ran back in, up the stairs, into the room,
and seizing needle, thread and hoop, set them ablaze
on my brick hearth before returning to the night
to commune with my longlost life.
© 2012 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
The wake-up call.