Three Sisters’ Work


We card the soft and wiry strands

Fine for the noble, royally raised,

Coarse for he who works the land

Lustrous thick for the rich by trade,

And thin for the slavish brand.

We spin into threads the sorted heap,

Altering length and longevity

Full long for many years to reap,

And clipped short for those unlucky

Who will succumb to early sleep.

We dye the plain into coloured wool

Rose for health and Green for ill,

White for young and Grey for old,

Blue for peace, or Crimson ‘til

A violent death unfold.

Yellow for luck and Violet for loving,

Black is for the darkest souls

Copper yields courage for fighting,

While for beauty gild in richest Gold,

And adorn with bright jewelries.

Set aside these raveled lives

To our dank cave, we lay them.

Each different in its length and shine,

Each different in its intention

Three sisters have made no one alike,

Such are the fates we fashion.

© 2012, Elizabeth Cook

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