Droplets of Time
In the Silk Room
of the Pacific Asia Museum
I am touching different silk items
all other senses open
mind lushly replacing the sight
history seeps through my fingers
the smell of the caravan with camels
stench of human and animal sweat
silk too has an odor
not strong but enduring
gentleness should not fool you
the persistent droplets sculptured mountains
one rain at a time.
Every year, when the journey
begins to weary me
I tell myself lit will be made.
This year it is finally finished
as the profits shrink,
the desert sun glares hotter
the dunes seem higher.
Here is the yellow flower
that bloomed one morning
and withered the next.
There the birds, hungry
flying low to catch tossed grain.
Black borders are my last memories
of stitches on my mother's robe
handed down by her mother.
Behind this curtain,
I sleep contented,
as every now and then
the slowing breeze of the steppe
caresses my face.
fills the weaver's mind.