The Seamstress

Mom

 

(In memory of my dear, sweet mother, 1927-2016)

 

My mother holds the tangled threads

of her five children

gathered in her frail hands,

now adults, all of us,

grown,

yet her babies still,

siblings once woven so tightly.

 

She clutches the flimsy threads

delicately,

not wanting them to break,

but she knows when her time is done

the stitches,

almost brittle now with age,

will pucker and snap,

unravelling

like a knitted sweater

frayed at the seams

that slowly unweaves

and shrinks in the wash.

 

The five of us,

once finely patterned

within the squares

of a cosy quilted comforter,

are now knotted differently,

we are mismatched buttons,

different lines we stitched,

different designs we embroidered,

different templates we followed.

 

We may have been pierced with needles

or cut with scissors

and discarded like scraps,

but still forever entwined,

criss-crossing like lattice

or unfolding like yards of white lace

or glistening like beaded brocade,

other times jumping through our fitted hoops,

casting each other off.

 

Sometimes we’re bold like strands of gold

and other times we hide in the folds

as we try to patch our souls.

 

We are twisted

and at odds

the five of us—

two against three,

three against two—

faded appliqués of assorted shades and sizes

torn from a worn and loving quilted spread,

smothered with pinpricks of jealousy,

looping alone

and spinning yarns

and piping warped dreams

that don’t gauze the rip

or mend the tear.

 

We’ve forgotten the wicker basket

from whence we came—

a hamper once filled with love

and accessories with which to mend—

the one the seamstress hovers over,

ever watchful and caring.

 

But in times of crises—

when pockets are picked

and seams are shattered—

we gather and braid together,

our dyes running forth again

while we weave a tapestry of colours

into a padded patchwork

that frames our mother in love.

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Seamstress

  1. Like a quilt, multi-layered imagery and feelings. Good one, Cathy.

    Like

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