I am confined where staircases end
with silent looms and tongue-like yarns
unable to knot themselves into words.
My anguish embroidered in
every silken strand, rage
and shame in every dark hue.
A story framed by frosted landscapes,
twisted trees and shivering birds,
the biting snap of loneliness.
Sometimes, slantwise, I glimpse a scrap of view
cut at angles by crumbling turrets;
a tilted horizon of dismembered heads
shadowed by the rush of raven and far
below the tiny tangled skein of path
joining field to field with uneven seam.
In my head the rattle of bobbins, jittery fingers
struggle with warp and weft, the tension
slipping - too many loose ends.
Scissors mirror me back, my pattern
is lost, a thousand threads unravelling
to a tangled mess of nooses.
King Tereus desired his sister-in-law Philomela. He had her sent to Thrace where he raped her, cut her tongue out and imprisoned her in a tower. There she wove a tapestry which revealed his crimes.