Between My Finger and Thumb

by Eileen Thalenberg

Between my finger and thumb
The thin needle stands at attention.
The thread draws me through the needle’s eye
Decades away – I am a child in my mother’s kitchen.
She is sewing tiny glass buttons onto a blue dress.
It’s my job to thread the needle.
My eyes keen, my hand steady, I never miss.

I pass the needle back to her –
A slight hiss of thread, whispering as it slips through the silk
With the rhythmic to-ing and fro-ing
Of her rough red hands.

In this wordless complicity between mother and daughter
Patches were sewn on knees and elbows,
Socks were darned with cross-hatched stitches
Stretched across gaping mouths of drinking glasses.

These were unusual, quiet moments –
And in the blessed silence things were mended.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 2