I accidently knocked over
the Singer sewing machine,
an old black metal one I found
in a junk store.
It sits on my front stoop,
yard art, I call it.
All the neighbors stare walking by,
and only one has asked,
why do you have a sewing machine
on your steps?
Or the neighbor who uses it
in her directions, as in,
go 2 houses past the sewing machine.
But today that 40 lb machine
fell on its side,
and I thought of you,
and what you might think
in these dark days of our republic.
You, who raised me with all your
fiery rhetoric about democracy,
who used a Singer sewing machine
to put food on our table,
and kept sewing even when your
finger got pulled under the needle
and you slowly turned the wheel
and until it came out,
wrapped it with a white cotton strip
the red so bright
as you kept sewing.
Abigail Warren lives and works in Western Massachusetts. Her poetry has appeared in Tin House, Delmarva Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, and numerous other journals. Her essays have been published in SALON and Huffington Post.
I'm standing in the wind.
We had five years left to cry,
stay in, get things done.
The wordy gurdy stands
quiet in the middle of my head;
missing pieces [with just enough
shine] rubber-banded tog-
Back then, when she rose
from her beach chair, the weave imprinted itself
on the backs of her jiggly thighs.
Who would have carried it this far,
up the crest between watersheds,
then quit before the downhill?
This was your domain.
Pocket jingling a handful of brads, flat pencil behind your ear,
you’d bore through the browsers; pay and go.
When you rose from the sea
the crown of your head
touched the clouds
A conveyor belt delivers mutton and fowl.
Hot meringues suffer and collapse
under my ruthless fork.
His breath tripped over words stuck between his teeth
and tongue as sinewy shoulders curved.
The child stood, small, shivering in her tattered brown coat,
a dented, scuffed brown suitcase gripped in her hand.
mushrooms, beets, carrots, cabbage,
uncle’s ashen face.