The Warp and Woof
by Priscilla Turner Spada
(from the photo, Taos Laundry Day, by Sharmagne Leland-St. John)

Laden clouds sweep swiftly through the valley
from behind the distant Taos mountains.
A brief downpour will drum on this tin roof,
stirring the weaver to retrieve her treasure–

a clothes-pinned display, a make-shift gallery–
of patterned blankets, rugs, with mapped out veins
of desert dyes among the warp and woof:
soft umbers, indigo to make the azure,

red cochineal, chamiso yellow. This palette
imbues such richness to the zigzag patterns
drying here. Once set, they're weatherproof.
These old techniques will go on giving pleasure

as long as loving hands pass on these arts
to Taoseñas with spinning in their hearts.


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