A Square Inch of Space

[During her lifetime, Sibyl Mary Croly was a prolific poet. So far I have found over 200 published and unpublished poems. A Square Inch of Space (1974) and Mock Us Gently (1978) contained collections of her works. Numerous other poems were published in newspapers and magazines from 1902 to at least 1978.]

It was satisfying
to slay a red deer with our own hands,
soften the hide with our strong teeth,
sharpen a small bone on a bit of flint,
punch holes for a shapely seam
and lace it flat, patting the stitches
into a smooth braid.

In the time of the Crusades
we eased our forsaken hearts
with intricate designs in bright wool
and hemmed the sturdy linens
that decked our lonely beds.

Within a square inch of space
a woman may travel widely,
leaving imperishable tracks.
In that small, quiet world
is no sound but the purr
of thread slipping through cloth
and the castanet of the thimble.
Angels may dance gravely
on the point of a needle
to the music of slow thoughts.

From hand to hand, along the centuries,
reaches the thread, unbroken.

[Published in “A Square Inch of Space” (1974).]

All of Sibyl’s poetry published to date on this website can be seen in these posts:

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