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,
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