I am a Weaver
Over the millennia, I’ve raised my sheep for wool, grown my flax and hemp,
or bought these items from friends near and far.
With my babies by my feet, I’ve spun my yarn and woven my cloth,
using patterns of my grandmothers and colors of the land.
Rhythms of season and day planned my work,
as I rose with the sun, saw to my children’s needs
and their education in our world,
and I showed them my place in it.
Today, I punch a clock at eight, regardless of weather or season or birthdays
or illness or gardening that needs to be done.
My babies stay with someone else.
I weave a stranger’s design and use fibers that often don’t grow on our Earth.
I cannot sell my ancient craft,
because some men arranged the change the world this way.
I’ve heard people say, with happiness,
“They were so cheap, I had to buy two!”
Then later, “My closets are so full! Where did this all come from?”
then they laugh and add, “But I have nothing I want to wear.”
My work is so cheap, even when it’s still in good repair,
people cannot resell it, so they give it away, or throw it away.
I love handsome clothes, but I cannot afford them,
so I, too, wear industrial clothes.
And I, to, have more than I really need.
But none that I really love.
I would trade everything I have
for well-made items of sturdy, handsome fabric, crafted from the land,
if I could again do work I was proud of
and be director of my days.
copyright 2004 Jean Eisenhower