Our Mother, Sewing

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 | Comments Off on Our Mother, Sewing

Our mother made all our clothes
do you remember
winceyette, sea island cotton, molleton
cloth, flocked nylon flocked nylon.
I got two because you
grew out of yours.
It was always winter. Soup
on the coal range, yellow electric light,
Lever Hit Parade, black treadle machine
with the jeweller’s motor,
Mum, hemming up the night time
with pins.
Me on the kitchen table
‘Stop spinning!’ Stop?
How could I stop. I was already
fence walking hop scotching
jay birding to school in my new
dress I was dancing the Prince
in the May competitions I was
knocking the boys for dead at
Foxton Beach I was strapless
white daisies and daring at
the Massey Ball
do you remember
how we pored through the pattern books
Simplicity – it took at least
all day and we helped with
the tacking and when the serials
were over we went to bed and there’d be
that strip of light under the door,
the machine still banging and whirring,
running on
and Mum
by the open range, eyes closing
stitching her heart into
tarlatan tutus, sailcloth shorts
and H-line gingham dresses
I buy my daughter’s clothes

Carol Markwell