Sunday, June 15, 2014


I don’t sew. Not the way some people do.
I can make no sense of patterns
or the machines that look like they will sew your finger to the table.

But I sew.
Buttons and hems, a rip in a sheet.

Not often, but when I do
there comes a gentle softness of simplicity
and memory.
Sewing a button today and
I am six years old
prick-prick-pricking the needle up from underneath
in blind search of a hole.
Convent needlework classes
taught me things I still own
like the tidy 3-point stitch just for hems
and the deft move that lands a knot right at the end of your thread.

I do a small repair today,
bringing out the sewing box I assembled
a couple decades ago at the beginning of some new life,
and I am sitting in the garden in Athens
hemming linen napkins
pretending to be invalid to stay out of the fray.

I am glad for this consistency of sewing.
Each time I return
It is the same.
They might say boys should sew their own buttons.
But I would miss this corner of ability and accomplishment and peace.

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