Pioneers—The Lace-Maker


Hands which had made the lace now pushed the plow
Across cracking fields of reclaimed wasteland.
The hot smell of summer pushed the past to
A kaleidoscope of half lost fragments:

The acrid odor of wool coats drying
By the hearth as English storms sang outdoors;
The promised magic of new thread, spider-
Fine and smoothly waiting for careful form;

The close quietness of old artisans
Forming familiar patterns net-like with
The fragile flourish and curve for a trim,
So different from this straight, hard, dry furrow.

The lace-maker stopped his horse and slapped at
A lean horsefly buzzing his steaming neck.
These eyes burned by the base dust and stung by
The sun would never again see that life.

Dirt-gloved hands would not form the silky threads
In fine designs of royal-ranked stature.
He had lost that past to the channeled task-
Master of time and life-revolving faith.

Faith! His hands felt for the wood smooth handles.
Gee hah! The worn horse huffed away the flies
And stepped slowly on, pulling a new type
Of pattern in the solid soil of now.

About the author(s)

Sally T. Taylor is an assistant professor in the English Department, Brigham Young University.
“Pioneers—The Lace-Maker” was the 1978 First Place poem in the Ann W. Hafen category of the Utah State Poetry Society Contest.


Share This Article With Someone