Skip to main content

Frances and Mary Allen, Sewing Group, Ca. 1900

ISSUE:  Spring 2001

The three fates in dark
skirts and starched shirtwaists
bend over their work,
tracing the abstract patterns
of our lives in small, neat stitches,
keeping their glittering scissors
just out of sight;

like my three great aunts
dying slowly in their
New World tenement,
a fan of silver pins
in each of their
pursed mouths;

or the Allen sisters
in a trance of needles and thread,
the cloth spread out
like medieval finery
over their serious laps, the sky
outside the closed curtains
embroidered with those skeins of light
we still call stars.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Recommended Reading