An Ode to a Mother and her Singer

You produced dresses that were beautiful.
The sound you produced, rhythmical.
You sent signals that a dressmaker was at work.
Working to bring to life
Our dreams, our desire, our Christmas dresses.
Fully dressed in black
With your golden attachments
And inscriptions, bold and glow.
You are slender in your waist
And towards your upper torso
You expand into the wheel
That drives your teeth
To weave large and extraordinarily tiny stiches
On fabulous, colourful
Strong and silky fabrics.
You are elegant, efficient and durable.
Serving her many years without fail.
She would wake up at dawn
And lubricate you until all
Your levers run smoothly without a shriek.

All of you should wake up.
I need to take your measurement.
By next week I should finish
Sewing your dresses.
Go and wash your face and come back
Stand straight and raise your hands.
Stretch your arm.
Turn your back towards me
And make sure you don’t shake
While I take your measurements.
We were sleepy and joyous.

The joy that we would have new dresses
That we have also gained the right to boast
When our friends come to whisper
To us the news of having new dresses
We also whispered our news to them.
To any family gathering,
Or church on Christmas day
We would wear.

Here is to a mother who could not buy for us
Dresses with labels
Yet the trousers and jumpers she sewed
The long, short and maxi dresses
And her nineteen seventy designs
Brought the joy any child
Would ever need.
You did not have much
Only your faith was so much.
If you ever had a bank account
It was empty
But you had hope so full.
Our contentment and happiness
This song we sing in our gratefulness.



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