She measures the length of patience,
carefully cutting what’s unneeded,
needling hours into a series of stitches,
spinning dreams from worn patches.
From discarded designs,
beauty spools in her hands,
quick as kinship across distant villages.
In this city, they are as possible
and as empty as oceans. She returns,
again and again, refusing to surrender
to mistakes, picks loose threads, starts
more times than she can remember.
She learns to adjust the tension between
friend and ma’am, weaves answers carefully.
Her hands are her eyes, correcting corners,
delivering the final draft with a smile.
Imagine her hands are yours, are ours.
Imagine these hands by the millions
guiding, threading, holding
About the poem: Given this month’s theme is collaboration, here is a poem co-written with Rea Maac, a foreign domestic worker, in response to the concept of ‘Stronger Together’. This was part of Aidha’s International Women’s Day campaign. The poem riffs off photographs taken by Dini Handayani & Elvin Ling of domestic workers learning to sew on their off days.