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The carpet seller throws his wares across
my path in geometrics spare he casts
my Kyrgyz-knotty tales to clasp my soles
while I bear down on twists of hope and loss.
Upbraid me not, he cries, for work that lasts
but for a night or two. Platonic wholes
that cushion you so well I weave through pain
that you may walk through vales of ease. Employ
me now while increase gathers all around;
give me exclusive rights to pattern gain
that’s yours and yours alone. You’ll savour joy
with boundless grace arrive at higher ground.

His pitch rings true, and so I gladly sign
my sojourn to inspire his grand design.


© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Photograph by author