We continue to share poems selected by author Cindy Veach from the new poetry book Gloved Against Blood.
The second poem on Cindy ‘s list is How It Resists.
As part of my research for Gloved Against Blood I read many stories written by mill girls that were published in The Lowell Offering and also visited the Boott Cotton Mills. I wanted to immerse myself in their world and write as best I could about their experiences. What interested me most was capturing the daily-ness of it. The parts that get forgotten. This was all part of a quest to ‘know’ my maternal great-grandmother who emigrated from Quebec to work in the mills.
How It Resists
And sometimes it’s too much—
these aisles of crowded looms,
their stanchions of white thread
spooling like udders,
my needy shuttles
of flowering dogwood—
for its hardness, for how it resists
splintering, for the way it loves
to be polished smooth—
the floor slants,
the room seems cockeyed,
too slim for eyes
to see the eye—
and the whole mill howls
as if cotton were milk—
the way two mirrors held just right
create an infinity of I—
Acknowledgement: originally published in Michigan Quarterly Review.