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: Against Gravity (Poetry Foundation, 2005)
More Poems by Beverley Bie Brahic