“Stitches”

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She remembers watching

Her mother run practiced

Fingers through, beneath

And over pieces of colored cloth

Her mother’s hands knew

Linens, silks, satins

Intimately caressing surfaces

And stitching patterns

That ran zig-zags across

The span of time

She remembers standing

Obediently while those

Same hands held up countless

Dresses up to her thin, child’s

Body, her mother’s pins

Hanging limply from smoker’s lips

She still recalls the way

The needle pierced where

The seamstress wanted it to pierce

The way patches of cotton

Would become her father’s shirts

She remembers how often

Her mind would turn to

Thoughts of loss

Whenever she saw those fingers

Deftly craft countless dresses

And infinite shirts

She sits now at the same machine

Not to make a dress

But wondering if her mother would know

How to stitch together pieces

Of a little girl’s broken heart

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