States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'Women's Talk' by Anita Patel

Have you noticed
how the purl and plain of
women’s talk is tangled
and snarled
when a man enters the room?
Suddenly stitches are dropped
irretrievably
in the middle of a pattern
worked on for hours
and the cosy blend of colours
dark and light is
snagged and knotted
beyond repair.
The ropy twist
of mannish yarn
weaves its way
harsh and relentless
into the whispered silk
of confidences,
ruining the rich brocade
of spoken moments
(embroidered daintily
with truth and terror)
and the fine cobweb lace
of lies half told.
No deft fingers
can save the garment now
it falls
in a cambric crush
next to the broken loom –
the last threads hang loose
a ravelment of bombast
and vainglory.

Anita Patel


Published in Block 9