She threaded the loom
with one strand of her long silver hair,
which might have kept growing until she was done,
which might have fallen out
but I would come in and
sit beside her on the cushion, without her noticing,
and she would continue.
Every day I saw this old woman
weaving at her loom, rivers and lakes
underneath her hair.
The bottom full of silt.
I could see it if I reached with a comb
and that was when she’d look at me.
Under her hair
she kept her oldest son,
who was out for a morning swim
with swallows swooping down to touch
the water. It made her happy
as she worked on silk dresses
and her hair never ran out.
Sometimes, when she was tired,
she’d tie it up
and let all the tired animals around her house
drink from her head.
Monica Sok, “The Weaver” from A Nail the Evening Hangs On. Copyright © 2020 by Monica Sok. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org. All rights reserved.