Make and Mend
I remember the wooden clothes horse,
the ironing board and pungent hiss of steam
when stainlessly hot steel met moistened cloth.
The wooden darning egg in the sewing-basket
made from a fabric-covered cardboard box.
The booklet of cloth, each leaf containing needles
of different sizes and the box of pins
and safety-pins. The tin of buttons.
The wooden reels of many-coloured threads,
sewing-machine and its excited bobbin,
the pinking-shears with their serrated edges.
The concentration on your motherly face
as first you licked the cotton straight and then
threaded the filament through the needle’s eye.
I can imagine you at work tonight
under the lamp-light of an Anglepoise,
that frown of concentration on your face,
sewing or darning to the radio
and yet it’s over sixty years ago
and I have only memories of you now,
till love that turns to loss is love again.