I travel back in time to find a woman by a pond,
embroidery hoop in hand, her needle
dipping and rising
like a dolphin
as she hand-crafts
She inclines herself to ponder
her image in the water, then chooses a bit of wool
to catch the light that flecks
“Wow,” I say. “Awesome.”
She blushes and says, “Prithee good sir, speak
not of what inspires awe
here beside this humble pond
whilst I dabble with my cloth and cord,
imperfect as I am.”
“Whatever,” I say, “It’s all good.”
This is how I study history. I go there.
I see the sights and smell the smells
which often entail fresh
rain, and copious animal odors.
Needlework done, she will hang it on the chestnut trees
that line the lane beside her home.
I encourage her to do this
as a sort of status update,
to let folks know
she’s looking good and living her best life,
phrases I have brought her as mantras from the future
where we are fully committed to such things.
people will learn to drop rose petals
in the basket beneath her image
to indicate their approval
and she will finally be able to count them up
to see how much she’s worth.