Here’s my draft for today, Wednesday 05.22.19.


In a dark recess of my mother’s closet
as I clean out her life’s collection of everything
I find the fragment of an old-time sampler

The ragged scrap is preserved in a small glass frame
and there’s a label on the back saying
it was made by my grandmother’s grandmother

What’s left of this aged handiwork
still showing signs of vibrant color
says simply in stylish lettering

idle hands

I can imagine her, rocking there before a fire
some two centuries ago, the antique chair
now maybe still comforting someone

a mother and her baby, perhaps
or an old man smoking his pipe
in Wisconsin or even in Canada

Needle in her hand, she sewed this
to grace her home all those many years ago
and demonstrate her expertise in embroidery

with a lesson to the present in the past
so pointed then her needlework for the silent dead now
her busy hands, stitch by stitch, having mastered time

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