Needlewomen

Last night we had guests over for son the younger. I hand out glow sticks and they rush out the door, into the dark of a late winter evening. Whoops of excitement fill the air. It grows quiet as they head down the block. Moments later they return. Glow sticks blue, green and orange are now crowns, necklaces. They adorn forearms and climb calves like the laces of Roman sandals. Neon colors dance in the black night air.

Inside I sit doing needlepoint, pulling soft wool through the stiff canvas. On the television, Jane Austin’s crisp dialogue crackles with irony and early nineteen century manners. In country drawing rooms, in those days before television, men read aloud and women stitch.

I clip my yarn and secure my empty needle in a corner of the canvas. Now upstairs, the children are quiet, engrossed in video games. Their faces illuminated by a flickering light, like the hearth fires of days gone by.

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