diana lynn

Shadows on the Sewing Room Wall



She's tearing apart her clothes to sew garments 

for her five year-old son,


a red satin cape for when he turns six

made from her old prom dress

lined with smooth wedding gown silk

perfect for her little superhero.


play pants for when he wears size seven

sewn this morning

from her well worn trench coat

a thrift store gem found the year she gave birth, 


a vest for when he becomes size eight

warm wool hand washed 

and carefully cut from her best sweaters

yellow front, blue pockets, with a green back 

 and on the inside, next to his heart, an embroidered 'Mom.’


school shirts for when he turns nine, ten, eleven,

when his memory of her will have faded like thin cotton,

shirts made of her softest skirts

of her own plaid blouses 

of her new grey corduroy jacket

shirts with 'Mama loves you' written in the seams

shirts that will perhaps fit him later on 

shirts he will become embarrassed to wear but ashamed not to.


how fast she works racing time

her now shaved head bent over the sewing machine 

the whir and hum of it filling the room 

it’s getting hard to sew 

to hold her arms up is no longer possible.

but still here comes  

a jedi costume

magic pillow cases

and a fuzzy hat


sewing interrupted with sweet hugs and kisses 

and the reading of story books 

before they lie down together 

their still and silent bodies 

lit in that brief orange light

just before sunset.


No matter how she pushes back time

pushes in anger

or in grace

pushes back their lost future,

the whir and hum in her sewing room

will cease

and shadows will lengthen

and the door to this room will close, 

 but right now

 she is loving him 

for as long as she can.


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