Days of frantic sewing —
of dotted Swiss and seersucker and sometimes
pink wool, for a coat cinched with a chain.
Of dresses passed down, pared to size;
of rick-rack and hand-sewn hems. Of buttons
plucked from the button-tin, lucky if matched.
All was new or new to me:
gloves soft as a rabbit's ear, a pearl at each wrist.
Shoes to grow-into, and a hat that snapped
an elastic welt under the chin.
I tripped off to mass with my five sisters,
fussy in last-minutes stitches.
Impatient with The Strife is O'er — the dirge of it!
Wanting only to shed this membrane of prettiness,
escape to the topmost branches of a maple
where I could bellow my hymns —
my solo Alleluia's —
swaying on thin limbs.