Interweave by Moni Brar

Poem title: Interweave
Poet: Moni Brar
Poem: I covet my grandmother’s loom 
stashed in the rafters above
the water buffalo asleep and sweating.
I covet this charkha from a meager dowry, 
this artefact of joy.

I glide along the curve of its wheel, 
follow the arc of ghost fingers,
the smooth sandalwood spindle. 
Imagine cotton picked each morning, 
rinsed white, pass through thin hands, 
while the women sing
under the thirsty shade of a mango tree
sun charkhe di mithi mithi kook,
pulling and twisting fibre like wings, 
through the eye of a spinning wheel.

I hear the laughter in faded wood, 
trace the oil of faint fingerprints, 
and I unravel.

Oh, the things I’d weave and interweave— 
desires, folksongs, promises, half-breaths 
gathered gently with a spindle whorl, 
woven into memories for women
with mouths scented with cloves 
reciting songs a thousand years old
	Ma meri ne charkha ditta, 
	Vich charkha de mekhan, 
	Ma raani di yaad aave,
	Main jad charkha wal vekhan
Our worlds cross in hands that spin and pluck 
string, revel in bliss of song and story.
End of poem. 
Credits and bio: Copyright © Moni Brar
Previously published in Passages North (no. 43, March 2022, p. 93).

Moni Brar (she/her) was born in rural India and now divides her time between the unceded territories of the Treaty 7 signatories (Calgary) and Syilx Nation (Oliver). She has multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and was the recipient of the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, the 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, and The Fiddlehead’s 2022 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize. She was a finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and has received awards from PRISM, Grain, Room, The Ex-Puritan, Arc, Blood Orange Review, and Subnivean for her poetry. Her creative work explores the immigrant experience, diasporic guilt, religious violence, and the legacy of trauma. She believes art contains the possibility of healing.