You Were the Heroine. 2015. Hand embroidery on printed needlepoint canvas. 30.5 x 42.25 in. (77.5 x 107.3 cm)


You were the heroine.

Yes, so I was and am.
I was exhausted—slept on Theseus’s shoulder—
and when I woke—

The black sail dipping on the horizon.

Alone I abandoned myself to grief,
an abandoned woman. I writhed
upon the sand, I gnawed my hair.
I wept until grief turned to fury.

When the sun
began to set I saw that I had better
prepare for a long stay. They’d left me
three matches and a tarp. In time
I had a blazing driftwood fire,
and chanterelles and mussels sizzled
in a tin can I’d found.
I wrote it all down in my journal.

She bit the thread.
Night fell.

— Erika Mumford, “Labyrinth”, Willow Water, 1988