Essay

Images


Unnamed
(1935)

At the Quilting Bee

Skeen, Anita

A Poem

for Steve

When we sat on the black leather couches,
needles trapped awkwardly, forefinger to thumb,
learning to do a running stitch, practicing
small spaces and straight tracks in a sewing hoop,
you told me about your mother, the intricate
patterns she crocheted, the suit of many colors
she made from many ribbons, laid out smooth
and straight as a Kansas highway.  That click
click, click, you said, that sound of needles.
That was the music in our house.
I tell you about the old Singer my mother treadled
after supper, the whir, whir, whir of the needle
converting rayon to blouse, flannel to shirt,
wool to trouser.  I can still hear that humming
late into the night as I lay awake in my room,
part lullaby, part hymn:  all is well, all is well,
all is well.


Date: 10/29/2009