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Poetry Project — February 2017

The assignment? A villanelle.
The theme? Brevity, shortness.
The irony? Running out of time!

So let’s call this one a draft, shall we?
Just in under the wire.
Phew!

Stitch In Time
By Liz Garton Scanlon

Let’s make it quick – this hour’s not my own
I catch a borrowed breath but don’t exhale
The stitch in time has already been sewn

Each moment passes – sinks just like a stone
The second hand a whip that raises wales
Let’s make it quick – this hour’s not my own

But can a heartbeat really be postponed?
I hurry, my old story sounding stale
The stitch in time has already been sewn

The wormhole dropped through, wrinkle blown
The minutes meted out on God’s grand scale
Let’s make it quick – this hour’s not my own

but does it matter when I cut this close to bone?
What if I stop and let the measured gears derail?
The stitch in time has already been sewn

I rip the seams and start again alone
Shake off the fetters, lift the veil
And just like that, the hour is my own
The stitch in time, so carefully re-sewn

My pal’s poems:
Laura
Kelly
Tanita
Tricia
Sara

And for more wonderful everything, Poetry Friday is here

Be well, my friends….

Posted on 02/03/2017 05:00 am
 

20 Comments

  1. Wow. So many piercing images here. A second hand as a whip. Dear God. Yes, sometimes….

    But I came to a full stop at this line:

    But can a heartbeat really be postponed?

    No, no it cannot. We have to breathe or we die. We have to rip out seams (holy moly, I did so much ripping when I tried to learn to sew in high school) and begin again. Then our hours are our own, as you say. I love how you bring this home. xo

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  2. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

    Love the subtle alteration in the last line, and how this frenetic poem resolves into peace as a result. Lovely!

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  3. Each part is wonderful, but I like that ending best: “Shake off the fetters, lift the veil
    And just like that, the hour is my own.” It’s a beautiful “timely” tale!

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  4. Yes on that ending! Isn’t that how every day feels, just passing by in a blur. Only when I shake off the outside world and am just HERE (wherever here is, doing whatever that moment demands) do I ever feel like I am part of time, instead of it zipping right by me. “I catch a borrowed breath but don’t exhale” LOVE

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  5. I love the Wrinkle In Time imagery I get – and the second hand as a whip is just — whoa.

    I think ripping out the stitches is such a wonderfully evocative imagery, with all of the alliteration as well – and I just again shake my head that this is a single draft, whipped out in a hurry! You rock this stuff!

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  6. I can relate to the feeling in this poem. I hope I am as successful in resolving those time issues as is your last stanza.

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  7. “And just like that, the hour is my own” – Beautiful.

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  8. I catch a borrowed breath but don’t exhale … I love this image and the frantic pace it sets for the poem. And like the others, I love the way the poem slows and resolves.

    I think we all should stop and let the gears derail …

    This is lovely. I can’t believe it’s a first draft!

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  9. I like it, Liz. Love your use of repetition. “meted” caught my eye because I always have fun that word in the homophone set “meet, meat, mete.”

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  10. I love the idea that we can resew stitches in time just by breathing and calming. Time is that best friend who will betray you in the end, you know it. Yet you cannot help loving anyway.

    Reply

  11. Mary Lee Hahn

    Makes me want to take up needlework again. I need desperately to slow down.

    Reply

  12. Love this, Liz. The shift from the beginning to the end is powerful as you take back what is yours.

    Reply

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