Lacemaker

I watched
her little fingers
twist and loop the thread,
push the needle
into fine lace.
This one a handkerchief,
this a piece for the table,
hunger pricked.

The size is the price.
Lay the coins end to end
along the daisy chain.

I wrote this poem when I was researching lace making. Lace was made by women and children at the time of the Irish Famine. The price of the lace was arrived at by covering the piece with coins. Most of the money went to middlemen.
From A Sense of Place

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3 Comments on “Lacemaker”

  1. Thomas Davis Says:

    I enjoyed the history lesson.


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