I fell in love with purple there.
And shimmer threads. Bathed in light,
the high mass, music, flowers, incense.
No dirt in sight: pure, purely, purified.
The robed priests' day selves beautified
as if halo shone out of a holy picture
and pulsed in them, and I entranced with
the prayerful sway of a new word, robe.
I was a Godly child.
I ate with the nuns and slept with the nuns.
I used to sew the gems onto the silk.
Some of the gowns went to Rome for the Pope.
The nuns used to tell me, in years to come
think how proud you'll be.
If you knew my home life
rotten like my teeth
until I could spell broken.
Everything was made by hand.
The Hand, its A to Z uses.
sewing me back to myself.
Fabric, scissors, thread.
The stitch of my substance.
The eye of my own needle.
Its jab is all my blood.
This thrives me. This is fact.
This pattern. I make. I live.
Thanks to Patricia Sykes for permission to publish both 'Crux' here and 'Iambic Pentameter' on the Tuesday Poem hub this week. Both poems appeared in The Abbotsford Mysteries, Spinifex Press, 2011.
This is a collection of poems based on interviews Patricia did with over seventy ex-residents of the convent which housed orphans, country girls and migrant girls, 'wayward girls' and older women in the three houses there. The Abbotsford Convent is now a not-for-profit organisation accommodating over 100 artist studios. Patricia spent a six month residency there while working on this book. You can read more about Patricia on the Tuesday Poem blog this week.
The Abbotsford Mysteries is Patricia's third collection of poems - all three published by Spinifex Press. If you've enjoyed reading 'Crux', please go to the Tuesday Poem hub and read 'Iambic Pentameter'. From the hub, you can also enjoy a diversity of other Tuesday poems.