I am mesmerized by all the fabrics:
Julie Andrew’s butterfly sleeves, her seafoam
green dress, the gentle swirling as she walks;
all the pinafores, suspenders and flouncy skirts,
the ponderous drapes she yanked from their rods
and transformed into playclothes for seven children,
the way my Yaya would, perched at her mahogany Singer
sewing machine; she could conjure almost anything:
long sleeves in one hour for her daughter’s prom dress,
pleated drapes for dining rooms, velvet Christmas dresses,
wool jumpers and floral quilted bathrobes for us girls,
even my sister’s wedding gown: a thousand seed pearls
planted by hand over months and months, a silken garden
for my sister, from my grandmother the water
and the light that grew us.
From Mothershell (Kelsay Books, 2019)..
This poem first appeared in The Blue Nib.
Used here with permission.