Stitch and Bitch – Jan Bailey


The women settle, their needles
click in thick air. At the
window one heart-red geranium

lists toward light, three paper
whites wrest from fisted bulbs,
their roots worm about the small

stones. The coffee steams, cakes
slant on the sideboard beside the
china plates and cream, spills

of yarn pool in russet and brown,
threads tangle in their wicker
baskets. All afternoon tales

twirl in many colors, births and
deaths, orange, maroon; all afternoon
the woodstove crackling, fingers

flying, while the sea toward the
mainland raves in fury. Foam on the
shore rocks, spittle on the panes.

Jan Bailey, from Heart of the Other
Reprinted by permission of the poet