I have known hours built like cities,
House on grey house, with streets between
That lead to straggling roads and trail off,
Three school-girls pass this way each day:
Two of them go in the fluttery way
Of girls, with all that girlhood buys;
Beauty streamed into my hand
In sunlight through a pane of glass;
Now at last I understand
Why suns must pass.
I was sewing a seam one day.
Just this way—
Flashing four silver stitches there
With thread, like this, fine as a hair,
It is made of finest linen—
Sheer as wasp-wings;
It is made with a flowing panel
Down the front,
A footstep sounded from the street...
Listening, I knew of you!
With the good singing of your feet
You came in, too.
Many sewing days ago
I cross-stitched on a black satin bag
Two listening macaws.
Women who sing themselves to sleep
Lie with their hands at rest,
Locked over them night-long as though to keep
Music against their breast.
I am holding up a mirror
to look at life; in my hand-glass
I see a strange, hushed street below me
Where people pass.