The Button



That button dangled:
threadwork of a spider
who had flunked her Home Ec. course.
My jacket, already a size too loose,
lagged off one shoulder
as if blown by an August wind.

Needle and thread I needed, sharpness
and extension, penetration and follow-through.
First bought a black pig-snout of a spool.
Then Sarah looked in the kitchen and found
in the third drawer down, her mother's needle—
unbending, a fairy pikestaff.

Outdoors, while swallows and house martins swooped
near enough to tell them apart—
treble twitter of the swallow from the dull 'stirrup'
of the martin—I poked, slow-fingered seamster,
the snub needle nose through corduroy
and secured that errant discus of bone.

Then put my jacket on again,
drew together the two halves of my person,
fastened that essential button,
and walked off into what awaited.


© 2008 Richard Tillinghast, All Rights Reserved