Treasure Island

Naomi Shihab Nye

(12 March 1952 / St. Louis, Missouri)

Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting...


A small striped sleeve in her lap,
navy and white,
needles carefully whipping in yarn
from two sides.
She reminds me of the wide-angled women
filled with calm
I pretended I was related to
in crowds.

In the next seat
a yellow burst of wool
grows into a hat with a tassel.
She looks young to crochet.
I'm glad history isn't totally lost.
Her silver hook dips gracefuly.

And when's the last time you saw
anyone sew a pocket onto a gray linen shirt
in public?
Her stitches must be invisible.
A bevelled thimble glitters in the light.

On Mother's Day
three women who aren't together
conduct delicate operations
in adjoining seats
between La Guardia and Dallas.
Miraculously, they never speak.
Three different kinds of needles,
three snippy scissors,
everybody else on the plane
snoozing with The Times.
When the flight attendant
offers free wine to celebrate,
you'd think they'd sit back,
chat a minute,
tell who they're making it for,
trade patterns,
yes?

But a grave separateness
has invaded the world.
They sip with eyes shut
and never say
Amazing
or
Look at us
or
May your thread
never break.


Submitted by R. Joyce Heon

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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