Poem: Seamstress

I wrote a tale about a singer and her sewing machine.
She was old and frail,
but her fingers flitted on near invisible thread
splicing seams and trimming hems
with the grace of a starling
late for a dance in the sky at dusk.

Her near invisible voice chimed –
crystals on a window pane –
and shifted the silk on her worktop
lifting it a millimetre here,
dropping it an inch there
and all the while, softer than just before.

I’d passed her door, sometimes when I visited.
I’d seen her back, hunched,
and her shoulder twitching methodically,
foot pulsing out the rhythm of a bobbin pricking satin
and her grey hair as soft and unseen as
the knots she barely knew to explain.

All the while, indistinct words and notes
melted together and flowed like cool lava
up and over the soft mountainside of her worktop
across walls and around the cornices of her careful
considered stitching and back to her contented lips
to dissolve and reform anew.

Murmurs of crisp reflection
humming as the near invisible needle
presses that near invisible thread
into the soft and loose depths of this silken soul
which gleams with each whispered syllable
and is almost imperceptible.

I wrote this tale, of this singer and her sewing machine
and of the strands of songs that I couldn’t recall.
I’d never seen nor heard their softness,
but while I wrote them, her foot rocked the pedal
the wheel turned, and her voice spooled and tapped out
the warmest garment, I’ve ever worn.

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