Until the fabric speaks & the textile is a text

If you fall into it  

it will catch you, the way  

it caught everything you lost 


as a child. Silver thread  

of cloud. Gold earring, 


bright & worldly things 

with their polymer onwardness,  

a willingness not to decay. 


Tell me, I said, about what has survived. 

Tell it with only two threads & your hands 


swimming over & under 

& over again, until the fabric speaks  

& the textile is a text – 



           what reminds us of love 

           is worth keeping 



           all your failed experiments 

          might yet be of use 


Even a rug of dust & earth is fit for prayer.  

The land holds as lovingly as any mother. 

The land holds, it’s true, & it’s not too late 


to call that holy, even now; 

to touch your brow to the ground knowing this. 

unpublished poem, commissioned by the Hayward Gallery 2021, © Victoria Adukwei Bulley 2021, used by permission of the author.

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Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet, writer, and filmmaker who was shortlisted for the Brunel University African ...