Five Points, Vol. 18 No. 3Summer 2018
"I think for most poets, a poem “decides” on its own form, once it’s started, and that is equally true for poems in open form as for those that are metrical or syllabic." —Marilyn Hacker
In my memory it’s always winter when my mother sews, a cold weekend afternoon with the furnace humming and the windows fogged. I’m reading on my bed in my room at the opposite end of our long brick boxcar of a ranch house from the family room where my mother works, but even at that distance, with my door closed, I feel (or I imagine I feel) the vibration of the sewing machine through the floor. I hear or feel or sense the whirr and pause, race and lag of the needle moving up a seam. And now, remembering my mother sewing on a winter afternoon, the parts of a sewing machine come back, too. Feed dog and presser foot, hand wheel and spindle, the tools that women use to mend and piece, to make do and make whole. . . .