Knit and Natter, Maura High

Laurie Doctor, A Last Bird Crosses Over, Oil on Wood, 11″ X 11″


                  Sign in a window, East Portholland, Cornwall


Motorways, dual carriageways,
A and B roads, roundabouts,
farm tracks, lanes,
all roads
unravel down to this
seawall and this slippery boat ramp.

The corrugated
water-marbled sand.

Skeins of water running seaward.
Tide still going out.

The women gathering
in the front room of one of the cottages
up there along the undercliff

will knit them all into scarves
to give away; with a loop
and slip-stich over,
will wind in threads of their own lives, too,
what they were doing this morning,
what last year.

Maura High


Review by Jared Pearce

This poem has a wonderful stitching of the three fates and Madame Defarge, but in a way that is open, accessible, inviting. And I must confess that for me the poem recalls a childhood of wandering a different set of road and water ways, yet the poem is able to open my recollections powerfully and in a new way: to see those forms (natural and man-made) converging. In an era where some politically-charged poems are interested in telling their own views (which is important), it’s nice to be reminded that a good image speaks across time, space, and to many perspectives together.

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