My Secret Flag by Rachel Loden
What a giant I must seem to them, an exhausted giant who dozes about her sewing.
Asleep in mid-stitch, sorting the day’s haul of cinders, rubies, griefs—
They were laughing and carrying on, their tiny silver needles flying in and out, tiny silver thimbles on their fingers.
It’s no use of course, keeping secrets from them, when chattering is almost their religion.
Some held corners of the flag like an enormous quilt, and some danced on little shelves above the workshop.
They were so merrie they fell asleep again.
In the morning my beautiful flag was finished, every stitch in place and every seam.
So now I raise it—slowly, underneath a secret sky.
Near the door to the half-daft and the cradle of kleptocracy.
Where it rips and shivers, rips and shivers once more
and makes me furiously glad, and fills me up with secret pleasure.