The Weaver

by Nijole Miliauskaite

Nijole Miliauskaite

I hold a silk shawl in my hands -
a weightless cloud, billowing
against my breath, if I let it go
it would simply fly away
old silk, its white
yellowed like elephant bones, an eight-year-old
girl wove it, her hands were swift, skilled
oh and her eyes,
dark and knowing in her sallow face
fast, full with life, shining, and her braids
fell to the backs of her knees, she was loved,
spoiled, a real
whirlwind, you only managed
to weave three shawls, of the finest silk,
your palms became too rough, too clumsy,
by the time you were just about ten
and your hands had grown accustomed to heavy work
two shawls were sold
with the third
you covered your head on your wedding day
that is all that is left -
your life's witness -
short, hungry -
this yellowed spider web

Last updated January 14, 2019