The Needle Trade

The tailor--
hunched over cutting tables--
sketched designs,
chalked fabrics

and the finisher--
her needle tracing the Polish alphabet--
basted, hemmed the fine linen,
and sewed you together.

Then, in our days of loose threads,
just as your father sewed
buttons on suits to tighten
those hanging loose,

just as your mother patched
worn fabric and mended ripped
seams where thread frayed
or came undone, you

chose the proper needle,
the strength of thread
and with such skill
stitched the two of us

And we, in turn, shape
patterns of our sons until
they grasp the chalk
to craft their own designs.

:: Ruth Daigon, Between One Future and the Next (Papier-Mache Press, 1995)

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