Miss Louis – by April Bulmer

Some of my friends in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada where I live practice ancient crafts. One woman invited me to her small outdoor patio last summer where she sat spinning wool on an antique spinning wheel. A mutual friend joined us and worked on a tatting project. I sat with a journal and took notes for what would become the poem below.

April Bulmer

Miss Louis

  • Rebecca treadles her spinning wheel
    with her red shoe:
    the mohair and wool
    are fine and downy,
    a soft shade of blue.
    Last night, she watched
    for falling stars.
    She dreamt of a walking wheel
    like her grandmother used.
    How she wore out the floor.
    Gandi was a spinner,
    she tells me.
    He brought peace.
    I also learn a few new terms:
    footman, flyer and bobbin,
    lazy kate.
    I like the word “muckle”
    though I don’t know
    what it means.
    She grows morning glories
    and hangs wind chimes
    from trees.
    Her friend Chloe tatts
    a quick Celtic knot
    with thread.
    But my hands
    are weak and damp:
    late summer leaves.
    Though I recall
    a previous life
    when I fashioned a collar
    for my husband’s ensemble.
    Perhaps I soaked it
    in sugar and water
    for it was stiff
    ’round his neck.
    Today, I am a single gal,
    only dream of a husband,
    bobbins and thread.
    How my hands might move
    with grace
    as I shape
    a poor-man’s lace
    for the good man I love
    then wed.

    This poem is the last in my new collection of poetry called Creeds and Remedies: The Feminine
    and Religion in Waterloo Region. There are two sections in the book. The first reflects interviews
    I conducted with women in the area of Ontario, Canada where I live. It offers the reader personal
    encounters with a wide variety of women who subscribe to a faith belief or who provide details
    of their religious journeys. I offer an overview of the many religious found in the area. The
    second, reflects my own personal religious journey as I travelled around Waterloo Region’s
    towns, rivers and parks. The poem below reflects my pagan beliefs that God is alive and
    evolving and dissolving in response to our natural environments. He offers potent opportunities
    for us to commune with him in nature. To contact April: april.poet@bell.net.

    April Bulmer

    Riverside Park, Preston

    The day is close
    with heat.
    God in His bathing trunks.
    He wades the river
    with His great feet.
    A beaver on the shore
    slaps his flat tail.
    My dog, too, wags.
    I am a woman.
    I clap my tired hands
    for He breathes beneath
    the murky water.
    He is fish and God.
    He crawls, then, to the shore.
    Amphibian: prince and frog.
    He evolves and dissolves.
    Perhaps tomorrow:
     an egg on the shore.
    He will hatch in the sun,
    open a door.

About author

This article was written by April Bulmer


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