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unpublished poem, commissioned by the Hayward Gallery 2021, © Victoria Adukwei Bulley 2021, used by permission of the author.