(This is inspired by the women in the St. Croix Vineyard communion, circa March 2018. And, a seed from Emily Dickinson):
I celebrate women’s handiwork,
the stitching and the mending,
turning a collar, hemming up trousers,
stitch by stitch… we speak,
speak through the connections we make,
fold of frayed edges, and pin, to mend.
I celebrate the ones who practice listening:
what powerful speech straining-to-hear is.
I celebrate the women who dig into this earth’s soil,
coaxing robust growth
I celebrate the women who carry water
who stop us in our tracks to say
look, this water, this is life. Take care of it.
I celebrate the women who do not scorn
all the hidden stitching that makes life …life.
I celebrate the women who create aromas …
food is communion.
I celebrate the woman who dared to write the line
“my life had stood – a loaded gun”
oh Emily Dickinson: so unladylike!
Writing from your corner,
lobbing silent and sure implosions
as your keen eye views the world around you;
word by precise word, you speak.
These words and ways:
as the wind amongst the trees of our lives.
a solid mass gathering under the transience of talk
this gathering of hand work that plays.
I celebrate the women here,
those hands that tickle the ivories
strum the guitar
weaving us into a song:
together as lament, as praise, as glory, as cries.
– Agnes Kramer-Hamstra