Her life was full of movement
led by her husband's restlessness,
house to house, business to business.
Not a modern woman, all she did was follow.
She lived up
vicariously through the lives of those she loved
seemingly content to sew her fate with tight stitches
making patches for the holes in fabric of her dreams.
She followed well, patterns drawn by expectations:
religion, marriage, motherhood - predesigned models
allowing little exploration.
Her sewing was intended only for survival.
But her designs were inspired by rebellion.
Her techniques transcended convention.
She zigzagged where straight seams were routine,
refused to baste, allowed imperfections
in the face, hemmed cords with loose bindings.
All this hidden within imagination's wish.
She died from her heart, depression they called it,
but the real cause was suffocation.
The trapped art in her lungs
could not breathe.
(for Poets United.)
This was inspired by my mother-in-law. She was an amazing seamstress. I'm sure she would have been a successful creative fashion artist had circumstances been different. Unlike in the poem, she is still living. She no loner remembers much of life. She thinks the nursing home where she lives is her mother's house.