PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn's Letters Allice Hiller and Sasha Dugdale in conversation David Herman on the life of Edward W. Said Jena Schmitt on Hope Mirrlees Brian Morton: Now the Trees
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 256, Volume 47 Number 2, November - December 2020.

Hem and Other Poems Genevieve Stevens

How long has it been like this?
For a moment I didn’t know
if she meant the skirt or my life.
But as she then cleared space to lay flat
the hem, her hands existing only
for that bit of fallen fold,
well –
I put the answer away.

We grew silent.
Me appalled by the everything almost said
out loud
or perhaps it’s all been heard
in other rooms, older houses

And the longer I sat watching her,
the more I became grateful for the hem –
for its sudden, simple undoing,
for her – always
knowing which stitch is best,
grateful too for that pristine exchange –

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image