Tested on Sleeves, hers
never puckered -- puffed or sleek,
Leg o' or Raglan -- they barely
needed the damp cloth
to steam them perfect.
Those were the afternoons.
Evenings she took in piecework,
the treadle machine with its
locomotive whir traveling the lit path
of the needle through quicksand
taffeta or velvet deep as a forest.
And now and now sang the treadle,
I know, I know....
And then it was day again,
all morning at the office machines,
their clack and chatter
another journey -- rougher,
that would go on forever
until she could break a hundred words
with no errors -- ah, and then
No more postponed groceries,
and that blue pair of shoes!
Written by Rita Dove
<----> SEND THIS POEM TO A FRIEND! <---->