Jacqueline Jules

Broken Seams

Poking the needle with gray thread,
the color of my mother’s eyes,
I recall the days I learned 
to sew these neat stitches across fabric—
acquired the skill  
to make something torn usable again. 

My mother was not a seamstress. 
She grieved when a button popped
or a hole appeared. I remember 
standing by the bedroom door,
seeing her weep over a blue blouse, 
damp eyes pressed into the silk.

But the summer she returned
from rehab, she dressed 
every day for two weeks, 
drove us to classes at Mary Ann Fabrics
where we practiced, side by side, 
stitching hems and fastening buttons.

And while she never mastered 
the skill herself, she’s still the reason
I can sit in this chair today
calmly repairing a broken seam.


Jacqueline Jules is the author of the poetry chapbooks Field Trip to the Museum from Finishing Line Press and Stronger Than Cleopatra from ELJ publications. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 journals including Inkwell, Soundings Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, Imitation Fruit, Calyx, Connecticut River Review, and Pirene’s Fountain. She is also the author of 30 books for young readers including the Zapato Power series and Never Say a Mean Word Again. Visit her online at http://jacquelinejules.com/mypoetry.htm