Jan/Feb 2010 Poetry Special Feature

The Fates

by Jennifer Finstrom

The Fates

Even the Fates must have been young
once, sisters moving in unison.
Three parts of the same being;
three pairs of arms to spin, measure,
and cut. Their hearts not cushions
but machines, following each other
like drumming footsteps, an army
on the march, steady and echoing.

Do they speak to each other as they
toil, like workers gossiping in the factory,
at the sewing machines? Do they wonder
at the absurdity? Too long. Too short.
What is the point?
Or do they fail
to understand mortality and its torn

cocoon? The attics of their minds—
more hard drive than musty clutter—
hold an infinity of ticking clocks, and
their youth, if they had it, might
be found among the gears and shifts.
Or did they wake already old to find
the yarn twisting in their hands,
beginning its relentless unwinding?


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