Northwords Now Issue 35

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Georgina Seatter’s ‘Specimen Needlework Book’

by Lydia Harris

Georgina slashes the opening, overcasts the edge.
She threads moonskin to linen, a wee strip in the sky.
Knits around the thumb hole of a mitten,
cuts a cuff from white cotton, appliqués
moons to swatches, one the colour
of Colin’s field, another the surface of Swartmill.

Her stitches tilt into the wind
made with a point of sharp steel.
She teases threads from the warp, wraps the weft
into lines of flags at the field’s edge, bastes reeds
from the Burness shore to the moon,
tracks across the wastes.

She turns a heel, folds and oversews
the sheet’s worn centre, patches a blanket,
eases strands from unbleached linen.
Her stitches are creeping steps,
tiny as grubs, seed pearls in cotton,
crumbs of new bunno in the kirn milk.

On the wrong side of her darn,
the stitches dip and swim the two-ply swatch,
roots feeling the earth for water veins.
Right side up, her darn is almost unbroken,
just a light song in silvery blue,
a hint of a moon stitched to a day-lit sky.