Dawn Thread, By Judy Darley


Her room is full of feathers, dyed crimson,
scarlet, burgundy, blood.
Each hollow shaft sliced to a needlepoint.
She kneels among their flaming shards
at the foot of her naked toile, weaves
them in place, fastened with filaments.
 
Eyes closed, she sees eighteen shades
of red, one to denote each month in this cell.
 
From solstice moon to solstice sun
twice over, she’s stitched,
hands raw with the snip, shove, sew.
Lungs gasping against barbs inhaled;
eyes clogged with fragments of quill.
The tower walls are ablush with innocent dust.
 
The midsummer day cracks open,
and her plumage is complete.
On the furthest edge of the sky,
she hears her brothers’ thunderous wings.

Judy Darley is a UK-based fiction writer, poet and journalist. Her words have been published by literary magazines and anthologies, and performed on BBC radio, in cafés, in caves, in artist’s studios and in a disused church. She blogs about art and other things at www.SkyLightRain.com.

Image by Kay Nielsen

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