The Life and Times of a Seamstress


The Life and Times of a Seamstress

I could never say no, to an invite, to a show.

“Late On the Project”

Ah, we’ve gotten behind on the stitching again,
she said, arms like tornados whirling through fabric;
I’ve been paid already but never have the time,
to gather materials, hitching eyes with flying fingers,
no table able to lift the tied knots of habits and stingers,
pointed out like hiccups in a prayer, crossed down
toward horizontal ends like dyed hair;
tragic, this! no music on the radio, the electrical plug
has no socket, instead locked in my pocket, and boy
what a buzz from the sight caught unaware.
Hurry! Friends, if they catch me unfinished –
I’ll be fired for contempt and then won’t make rent!

“You Must Fix My Hat!”

Seamstress! This hat does not fit;
my head is too big, no room for the wig,
no hole for the dig, into the long lawn,
down by the rig! The oil-men are waiting
with bated breath and hating on soil, pulled
back to back with smoke and curlers, hurled my direction
from furled notices, scrolled, dolled up to
the tens, and tense with loose ends, not like
mine under this mess of a helmet; how could
you have let this happen! As if I didn’t pay you enough,
as if my money weren’t worth your blank look;
I should have left the stitching to the cook …

“The Cats and the Ugly Couch”

I would say I’m sorry, client, but my cats ruined
your success, unfortunately, they clawed the hell out
of the polyester couch, on which the blue India ink,
went pink and bled the dead head of a caterpillar’s
lead friend Fred. He, a shadow, crumpled behind
the out-of-service washing machine, got stuck cleaning
off corked bottles of Jim Beam. Sadly, the brainwaves of such
felines went off to microwave wisps on cloud nine, batting
the battered batten of battles unbidden save for balls
of cotton twine. Give me ten minutes to finish; in the
meantime enjoy your meal of spaghetti and spinach.