Sometimes she would ask one of us
to help, to hold up a skein
while she wound the wool into a ball

we’d sit facing each other
on two chairs in the kitchen

our child-hands held towards her
in an almost embrace, the wool

passing between us like a gift
she had given us to give back to her

holding one of her boys still for a moment
while she took the soft thread.

Dick Alderson (Western Australia)

First published in Westerly

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