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"To Weave the Fabric of a Life" by Rosemary Griggs

A poem................on crafting a historical novel

Dare I dream that I can weave the fabric of a life lived long ago?
The warp, strong cords fixed firmly to a frame
Battles, wars, the deeds of Kings and Queens
Dates, players, actions; these the record can proclaim
A firm foundation for my cloth

The weft, names plucked from a family tree
Robust yarns that twine neatly through the warp
With many knots that cannot be untied
Lives well known, their imprint sharp
They build the structure of my cloth

Woman’s lives, silken webs stitched down
Marriage contract, heirs provided, widows portion, duty done
A gift at New Year from a Queen
Enclosed by Abbey walls, a holy nun
She places her pins upon my cloth

The eldest son, named in his father’s will
Inquisition Post Mortem proves his birth
He fought in France and won his spurs
The land he held tells all his worth
Leaves a strong mark across my cloth

But others are of flimsy stuff, fine filaments
That fail to mesh the warp, that will not weave
Mere tacking stitches, brittle cotton,
Tangles of untidy ends hang loose and leave
Gaping holes that mar my cloth

This one never served with honour to keep the peace
Nor fought in wars, nor traded land
A second son, a mystery hidden
No woman joined him at his hand
He barely features on my cloth

Few show their true colours in the skein
From my mind’s workbasket I, the weaver, pick the hues
That give them life; voices, actions, thoughts
Good or bad, they grow from tiny clues
To make a vibrant cloth

I hold it to the light and see the spaces
Thread a needle with golden strand
To trace the line of a woman’s life
A pattern of stitches becomes a band
I spin a yarn to mend my cloth

My imagination’s needle runs unhindered
Patch the holes, flesh out her story
Sew fine seams, embroider details of her time
I dare to dream a tapestry so full of glory
Let readers judge the quality of my cloth