Lessons

What I had no skill to finish,
your hands took up despite the daily
endless supply of chores—

Into the night, on my school sampler,
you cross-stitched chains and antlers
upon a bordered field: deer

with craned necks and lifted hooves
impatient as I was for an end
to the ruled hours. When and how

did I come to know at last
all I had no clue about? I learned
to watch and listen as you worked,

making thrift with rations, but
unstinting with anything that could be made
to bloom in the wounded rags of our days.

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