Cotton and Bone


Washerwomen gather at
the shore before dawn,
casting out nets of silence
and gray laundry, spreading
beaten shapes across
stone, hoping for the sun
to rise and crack the cold
that stiffens both cotton
and bone.
 
Soon they will gather
their skirts into bundles,
carrying out only what was
brought, stepping through
acres of rocks collected in
childhood and shadows
lying face-to-face in tall
grass.  Sister, sister
tell me,
 
How many days since we
stood and watched the sun
rise over olive groves and
the faces of young men?  
How long since the song bird last
lifted from our fields?
We have tripped and fallen, 
lying sprawled upon the backs
of our mother's dreams.  


Copyright  Anne Fraser





 
 

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