thimble

The Sadness of Her Sewing

A poem for your birthday, Mom. I miss you like it was a thousand years.

 

The Sadness of Her Sewing

 

There she remains,

In the folds of her nightgown

Tucked deeply in her bedside drawer,

Releasing the scent of her Chantilly.

In her favorite clip-on earrings

Of aurora borealis rhinestones,

All  the colors of the northern lights,

She explained,

And here, perhaps most,

Up on the closet shelf,

Her worn wicker sewing basket,

A frayed tapestry on the lid of

a young woman’s face.

Inside, among the bobbins,

Mother’s tarnished metal thimble,

Its tiny nubs smoothed glossy from use.

Remembering now whenever she mended

I would hear her sigh deeply,

As the steel cap clicked

Against her flying needle,

Her impatience palpable,

Desperate to be done.

Knowing now it reminded her of

Being pulled from school at the age of nine

To do piecework for a gruff Glasgow furrier,

Stitching together overcoats in dingy rooms

From towers of animal pelts,

Never to return to school

Or childhood

Again.

 

Car window in rain

Traffic

 

Today the streets were grey with rain

and the sight of a car that looked like yours

stopped me in my tracks.

I know that when I see you again

you will be remote, mildly interested

and unscarred.

 

Still

I look for you everywhere.

And even the sound of your name

releases a flood of remembering.