Archives for posts with tag: sewing

ribbons valeie
Revelation in Retail
by Andrea Potos

They told me to leave the register;
I wandered gladly to the ribbon aisle,
to replenish all the spools where I could.
At my feet, a box of overstock.
I stood there, struck
by all the hues, announcing
their presence—
red like the pith of each rose
in Queen Mary’s garden,
silver sheened like etched
lightning in late summer.
And the green—oh the green—
the forest I once dream-walked
through and thought I had lost.
And then the ivory, gleaming
like the insides of a shell, or the pearlescent
sky on that morning my daughter
first arrived in this world.

“Revelation in Retail” appears in the author’s collection Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books, 2021).

Photo by Valeie. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem celebrates one moment in an otherwise tiring and rather monotonous day working as a temporary employee during the holiday season one year. Suddenly I was surrounded by color and beauty, and I felt myself enlivened and refreshed by beauty.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Potos is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books), Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) and An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry, Ireland).  Her poems can be found widely in print and online.  A new collection, entitled Her Joy Becomes, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in fall 2022.

I Might Need This Some Day
by Tricia Knoll

The day began with flag waving. Then drapes, generous blankets going in and rolled out to iced and rumbling trucks. Coffins in parallel lines on a bingo board.

Your thought was nonchalant (waste takes no haste) when you tucked remnants inside the sewing kit: I might need this some day. (No one ever believes that.)

So you dust off that case on a closet shelf beside your first-aid kit and summer’s electric fan and open it up. Acknowledge the red pin-cushion heart that came as wedding gift. Peel open curls of rolled cotton leftovers: stars splattered on black, red boats with sails unfurled. The teddy bears that beared-up your baby’s room as curtains on the window to the fir tree where the raccoon ate the robin’s babies. Two apron strings from your mother when you turned twenty-one. Those never-mind fabrics: old dreams in dark caverns.

This is some day. Now a bear mask on my lips, headdress below my nose. Filter my spare words. See beyond memory in the crosswalk.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Tricia Knoll, a Vermont poet, knows that she is at-risk. She tries to write a poem or haiku nearly every day and wears a mask with small flowers on it. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies. Her collected books of poetry include Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press), Ocean’s Laughter (Kelsay Books), and Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box). Her recent collection How I Learned To Be White received the 2018 Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry. Read more of her work at Find her on Amazon and Twitter.

Photo Op
by Alina Borger

The first time she wore a dress her
mom had not made, her brother sat across
from her at their little picnic table,
grinning under his shiny bowl cut and
eating Cheez-its from a
small metal snack cup.
It was a straight-lined little love of a
dress in purple-blue-pink plaid with
ruching at the top and a
ruffle along the hem just at her knee.
She thought I am so lovely and smart
exactly in this outfit, her long brown
hair up high in a braided ponytail,
the white wonder of a sandwich
waiting complacently before her.
She thought No one has ever been so
perfectly fine as I am. The sun
grazed her skin through the porch
screens. Her mom set her chin,
pointed her camera.

The last time that she wore a
dress her mom made,
a coworker’s son stood across
from her, his band tuxedo cutting
into his armpits, a grocery-store
corsage in hand. He said, You’re
going to wear that? She thought,
My mom and I made this
dress, you oaf. They’d picked out the
pattern and the brocade—
sewed the underskirt of stiff tulle
to give it shape. They’d set her hair
in Grandma’s brown flannel rag
curlers, and let it fall curly-cued
down around her shoulders.
She thought I am doing this out of the
charity of my heart for a boy with no date,
and she moved her chin slightly up,
even though her lip trembled.
Slipping the corsage onto her own wrist,
She looked up to see her mom,
handing the camera to her.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author as a child.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alina Borger is a writer and a high school teacher in Iowa City, Iowa. Her work appeared most recently in Kindred and Brain, Child—and is forthcoming in Wherewithal and The Mom Egg Review. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s cheering for soccer matches between her two boys or curling up with a good book and a mug of chamomile tea. You can find her online at or on Twitter @AliBG.