At the foot of the cross,
women nailed to the ground by grief.
A short way off, more women with their knitting sticks,
brows furrowed, lips pursed, though whether against
death or thieves or Romans or a dropped stitch
noone could tell. Between them,
closely woven winding sheets grew.
By the time it were done, they would be ready.
As the noon rose,
more stitches slid away than were saved.
Eyelids struggled against the weight of the wait.
A silent commotion pricked their ears;
life fled the air, as though the heavens were drawing breath.
The ground lifted.
One scrabbled for the yarn, gathering up her shroud in a panic,
turned, and found herself among the wrong women,
those standing stony still while the storm raged through them.
Later, when the earth was calm, they drifted back.
From the corners of her soul she saw the others
taking their beloved down,
and she tore out her winding sheet and started