'Light larking between wind and current will be in this sweater'

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The only passage of scripture that I know by heart is from Ecclesiastes: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Here's a poem about the work of just one pair of our hands, by Floyd Skloot, who lives in Oregon. His most recent book is Approaching Winter, from Louisiana State University Press. 




Handspun 
 

My wife sits in her swivel chair

ringed by skeins of multicolored yarn

that will become the summer sweater

she has imagined since September.

Her hand rests on the spinning wheel

and her foot pauses on the pedals

as she gazes out into the swollen river.

Light larking between wind and current

will be in this sweater. So will a shade

of red she saw when the sun went down.

When she is at her wheel, time moves

like the tune I almost recognize now

that she begins to hum it, a lulling

melody born from the draft of fiber,

clack of spindle and bobbin, soft

breath as the rhythm takes hold.



American Life in Poetry is made possible by the Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2015 by Floyd Skloot, 'Handspun,' (Approaching Winter, Louisiana State University Press, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Floyd Skloot and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-06.

 

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