Filtered light through threadbare curtains
Eyes focusing through cataracts and years
She sits in the quiet with needle and thread
Relaxing with her embroidery in her lap.
Beside her, the secretary waits for a letter
To a son gone to war, but that will come later.
Now she must keep her fingers nimble and busy
To sell pillowcases with monograms and roses,
As she tries to make a living for her other children.
She thinks of her husband, lost years ago,
To some unknown cancer or exotic disease,
And now she must make the way, without help,
In her meager home with its rug worn thin,
With its dusty draperies framing the light.
She rocks slowly, piercing the fabric back and forth,
Again and again, no tears, but heart and courage.