Hayden Saunier

January 20, 2023 Saunier Hayden



Unlikely find in a thrift store’s back bin:
linen sheets that when washed and fitted
to my bed, felt so light I slept in them
as though I had become a gauzy net of spun flax
woven to so delicate a mesh that the weight
of every woe that had befallen me
had somehow fallen through me, dropped away
from me, magically, and none of it mattered.
I tell you this was fairy tale stuff.
I had no ragged edges whipstitched into worms.
No scars, no patches, scorch marks, burns.
I was part of everything, apart from nothing.
Yet I woke afraid. Now, what was I to do,
walk out into the world without my tragedies,
without my griefs and grievances packed
into the long, drawn-out shadow I’d dragged
as ballast behind me oh-so-valiantly for years?
Well, no need to worry: spells
don’t last. Their beauty’s in their brevity.
But sometimes, I can conjure this one back,
when sheets are freshly washed and smoothed
across the bed— I close my eyes, lie lightly
in the weave, and for a moment, I become a thousand
sky-blue blossoms floating in a field of flax,
unthreshed, unbroken, and unspun.

Hayden Saunier is the author of five poetry collections including her most recent book, A Cartography of Home, (Terrapin: 2021.) Her work has appeared in 32 Poems, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pedestal, Thrush, VQR, among others, and has been awarded the Pablo Neruda Prize, Rattle Poetry Prize, and Gell Poetry Award. More at www.haydensaunier.com