March 05, 2007

The Chair

The chair
she sits in every afternoon
embroidering for the day
some fine young man
will come to her daughter,
will come to the cathedral,
come to give her grandchildren
stands empty now at noon,
vacant by the geraniums
she set outside this morning
stands near other chairs just like it,
empty on the cobblestones of
the village
that time has not touched
for seven hundred years,
the village of rock walls
built above the golden fields of
Medieval manuscripts

At the cafe, men sit gossiping
or walk slowly,
at ease under the olive trees,
until siesta
when the men disappear,
and no one else
comes outside

no one, that is, except the women
who for a time
come out to their chairs
come away from
the washing,
the children
come out to the narrow streets
Each woman
sits in her chair
each woman
sews for her daughter,
sews the ancient patterns
into fine linen
sows her daughter’s life
the fabric
of the past.

–Casole d’Elsa, Italie

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