By Beverley Bie Brahic Beverley Bie Brahic

Santa Maria Assunta, Torcello

Mater dolorosa, here I am hungry
And ill-disposed on worn flags at your feet.
Through high windows wintry sun seeps in
And floods the six-tiered polychrome Apocalypse,
This Sunday's text in comic strip.

That's my son over by the door, impatient
To be off somewhere. Other boys pose
On attila's Throne while their fathers snap pictures
And mothers price lace - clotheslines of lace
Strung from trucks selling pizzas.

Around the lagoon, your fields have grown wild;
Vines redden on half-fallen fences
That no longer keep the allotments apart.
On some islands the women make lace, punti in aria - stitches in air -
Materializing the spaces between things.

Beverley Bie, "Lacemakers" from Against Gravity (Worple Press, England, 2005). Published by permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (October 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

October 2001
 Beverley  Bie Brahic


Beverley Bie Brahic is a translator and poet whose work has appeared in Field, Literary Imagination, Notre Dame Review, The Southern Review, The TLS, and elsewhere. White Sheets (CB editions, Fitzhenry & Whiteside) was published in 2012. A Canadian, she lives in Stanford, California and Paris.

Beverley Bie Brahic’s translations include Guillaume Apollinaire:  The Little Auto (CB editions, 2012); Francis Ponge:  Unfinished Ode to . . .

Continue reading this biography


Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.