The Sewing Basket

The Sewing Basket

“Now, before Daedalus left Crete, he had given Ariadne a magic ball of thread, and instructed her how to enter and leave the Labyrinth” (Robert Graves, The Greek Myths).

For years,
my grandmother’s
wooden slatted sewing box
sat around our various homes
becoming a footstool,
yet, containing
her original stuff
including multiple spools and needles
as well as mending threads of different colors
mixed in with old sneakers,
a trowel, dirty socks
and even a ratty Reader’s Digest.

But today,
opening up this same sewing box,
my hands discovered
a luminous ball of yarn
that felt warmer and warmer
as if possessed
by a heat source.

It started to unravel,
loose strands
falling off to the side.
I stooped
to catch them,
twirling the dangling yarn
around my left wrist.

Drifting, my mind became still
yet the yarn ball
unraveled, trailing in front of me,
leading into our basement …
a new trap-door appeared,
shimmering with the trailing light.

Opening the door,
still grasping my grandmother’s yarn
that unreeled out of my hands,
I found my self
walking underground,
water dripping around me,
going deeper and deeper
until I heard
a painful, grating yowling
feeling in my own throat and
realized that the sounds of grief
originated from my own body.

So I played out
the golden threads behind me,
praying for the
guttural noises
to quiet themselves
once I had reached
the bottom of the journey.