Although I previously published a version of this poem, I revised it with a certain precision—in keeping with my mom’s handiwork. A science major turned homemaker, she lived joyfully and creatively.
I opened cereal boxes upside down
And absently stuck them on a fridge shelf,
Defying the precision strokes of my mom,
The domestic engineer of measured cups
And chocolate chip dough teaspooned
In perfect circles on scarred cookie sheets—
“After all, cooking is chemistry”—
Wielder of pinking shears zigzagging
On the bias of sensible school-dress cloth.
I fingered the lines of ebony rickrack
Tracking the collar and pockets
Of a black-and-white-checked hand-me-down,
Freshened with new pearl buttons
And plumped by stiff, lace-trimmed petticoats;
I scratched at whispering crinolines.
My mother never cut, creased, and turned origami,
Yet showered my youth with the luck of one thousand cranes—
A healing storm of happiness.