Apr/May 2011 Poetry

The Passing of Flora, the Seamstress

by Jean C. Howard

Photo by Leeca Desforges

Photo by Leeca Desforges

The Passing of Flora, the Seamstress

(In memory of Flora Watts)

Large light-filled swatches
of cottonwood leaves
hang, linen hankies
untouched by wind.

Stalks of reed grass
barely brush
morning's skin.
Rainless blue fills
the basin between hills,
sky, undisturbed, pastel
with sleep.

Today she awakes.
Threads of silver spill
from her now youthful hands.
Acres of silk
sweep before her.

Each thread holds memory,
the warp of her years
unfolding from the bolt—
a crimson dress,
the flannel yawn
of an infant's wrap,
a toddler's knees
tumbling into grass,
the rip of a teenager
leaping from cars,
a husband's kiss
worn in an old

The nightgown
of her lone ailing bed.

All of this, still hers,
waiting to be crafted
with new seams.

She picks up the fabric
in both hands,
lifts it to her lips,
and all the sky
bursts into sun.


Previous Piece Next Piece