Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOOKS AND EYES, by KAREN SWENSON



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HOOKS AND EYES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Irish lace and linen
Last Line: Again, and sewed me in.
Subject(s): Seamstresses; Sewing; Women


Irish lace and linen -
she had the design right,
the skirt's mountain-laurel pucker,
but no hooks and eyes.

So she sewed me in,
a last-minute needle
through my first communion -
my marriage to Christ.

The next time it was Grandma's
pale wedding gown,
a supple splurge of curdled satin.

Her damned needle basted me in again,
a lean noose loop.
Through a succession of dresses
her loose stitch has pulled

pattern and fabric to the scissor's mouth.
Only now I realize
that's what she's always done;
gathered me into the paradigm, a slack abstract.

I bend my coffin cloth of flesh
basted hem to skin.
She's forgotten the hooks and eyes
again, and sewed me in.





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