Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Midnight Oil

by Jill Crainshaw


A solitary light beaconed from the distance
                in the wee hours just before
                dawn cracked open the darkness.

Burning the midnight oil.

The Creating One in the beginning of beginnings
—sewing and seaming, stitching
                roots into the earth, fashioning fine
                spring things to adorn bluebirds and bumblebees
                daffodils and dandelions, embroidering soulful
                soil with a smile and breathing into it a
                sigh of delight.

Burning the midnight oil.

A solitary light beaconed from another window
in the wee hours just before
dawn cracked open the darkness.

Burning the midnight oil.

She, created by the Creating One
—whirring and chirring, snipping and clipping,
                weary-wise fingers urging one more scrap
                of this bit of blue, that piece of red
    beneath the ever-marching
    needle-foot of that old Singer Sewer
    Model 301A she kept coaxing and
                cajoling into action one more time
                to fashion an Easter dress or a pair
                of jeans or, one time, a man’s leisure suit.

Burning the midnight oil.

All other eyes in the house, on the street, shuttered tight
                while she followed with single-hearted gaze
                thread that danced and dipped beneath the
material surface, not noticing the
pale winter moon kissing her hand
as the clock ticked on until she sat back
and embroidered into a girl’s last minute
request a tired sigh of delight.

Burning the midnight oil.

The light in that window rests now, but vital
sacred strands spool on at the unfurling edge
of a new crack in a resurrecting dawn, fervent
fibers holding us together
—held in our hands—
                you and I piecing together hope from
                torn and tearing hearts, called by the
                Creating One

“Burn the midnight oil.”


* * * * *

Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She enjoys exploring how words give voice to unexpected ideas, insights and visions.