The Moirai

Issue TenIssue Ten PoetryPoetry

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by Jane Frank


1. Clotho


I feel her thread spinning,

spooling ahead through a sea of

guinea grass as I run

down the hill to the smooth

isthmus lawn, the waiting swans—

this moment its own mystical cosmogony


The rays that strike my face 

come from hers, her expression 

the cloud pattern printed 

on the linen cloth of the lagoon, 

her voice one with the music of sweet

sirens in the cool rushing air 


2. Lachesis


I sense her cut the pieces,

allotting them neatly to match 

the length of questions typed in long 

frosted nights, the time faces

wait at a high window, the weight 

of the moon’s trespass

in the garden of rhododendrons, 

the pace of pale deer

in the park through a fretwork 

of yew branches


She measures the seconds 

a gate swings on rusty hinges, 

the number of steps back to the locked 

green door, the minutes I stand in the rain 

before I realise it is falling loudly 

and that she is the disapproving 

cold I am wrapped in


3. Atropos


I hear her sharpening shears

with a virus burrowing 

in human touch, so sometimes I

imagine her decisions are the thrashing 

noises of an Easter storm 

when the gallery of photographs 

watch me try to sleep, or if 

my youngest son’s small heartbeat is strong

enough to hear in a hideous dark, 

when decisions made long ago

are ill-fated shipwrecks


There are invisible knots, but I worry

about these thinning days in late autumn, 

faces that spin in a haze of Nyx’s stars,

habitual walks beside the lazy 

stretch of placid water when 

its horizon is the darkest cut 

at the end of the sky