On the Steps
watch it unroll from the ball tucked in a pocket, offer
a length to a child who will entrance the queenie-cat, now they
are spun up with us too as we stand on the stone stoop
in the oldest doorway in Cullercoats and the mistress
with her basket stops to watch us loop wet light
into the house-haps we’ll wear in winter or bundle
up in chests, paper-wrapped and saved for days still coming.
with it not even on her hip but suspended
while she pretended to examine some darning -- or knitting,
he never knew the difference and the girl thought it a lark
to switch since she’d been twisting the nets since discovering
her hands -- they laughed at him after, if still flattered,
having posed for the chance to have his laundry, but how weird
it’d later feel: value put to their labour, extra pennies added
to the sale of the fish the men hauled in, those moments
on the steps entertaining the village guest not gone
to the head nor wasted when after, he hired you
for some small task, or if you brought along your handiwork
and he said you could hold it while he painted.
Angela Williamson Emmert
Angela Williamson Emmert lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and sons.
The Ekphrastic Review
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