is the art of stitching
loosely; not too much religion to sinch a soul up. She tacked
a Butterick template unto pieces of patterned
cloth, cut along dotted lines
on glossy brown tissue. I watched her pull
straight pins from a stuffed canvas tomato, stick them
into her mouth, picking them out one at a time
to tack and hold two pieces of cut cloth
together where they would, eventually, be sewn. And she
would baste humming, pins in her mouth, forming the words
to a song whenever she took them all out. Oh
how I love Jesus, she tuned, needle rivering though yellow
floral cotton and polka-dot navy blue rayon. I knew
I would have to wear the product whether I liked it or not; some
people should be pre-forgiven for the things you will have
to do to make sure they know you love them. A dress
& new culottes. A pair of knock off Keds and bangs. Maybe
I was cool. [You had to have the bangs.] A mother
who sang about Jesus. The month,
I learned she would die, I wrote a letter to her that read:
“Thank you for giving me Jesus.” Some people
are just forgiven for what you know you have to do to be sure
they know how much you love them.
What I meant to say was this: “Thank you
for the dresses and culottes that saved me from succeeding to be
less than the daughter you always knew how to love.”