I Always Keep a Sewing Kit in my Room

by Sarah Donkin (Univ. of Mount Union)

Honorable Mention

Just in case life is a little too rough
On the seams of my sweater
For when my feet are a little too clumsy
And the sidewalk a bit harsh
On the knees of my jeans
For when I’ve convinced my backpack
To carry a few more books
Than it was meant to hold.
I keep it sitting on a shelf
With dust on the top
And pencils, mini­notepads, and sticky notes scattered around and over it
It holds all the things I need
For when the other things I have fall apart.
So maybe I’m your sewing kit
Because when you run out of thread
To string together your stories
You spit out faltering, disjointed words to me
Until you find the beginning of a new bobbin.
When someone catches you on the nail
Poking out from the barn door
And leaves you to go to lunch by yourself
I sit with you and try to help stitch it back up
With reasons that we’ll never have.
When life or your own feet trip you
And send you sprawling to the sidewalk
Ripping away pieces of your jeans
I am the red patch that you reach for
Because the wrong color
Is better than a gaping tear that shows your red, raw skin.
And I’m okay with that
My grandma taught me how to sew
By giving me straight seams to push through the machine
And letting me work the pedal
While she guided the material
Around the curves
And sometimes she didn’t quite know
How to do a seam
But she learned as she went,
And I learned too.
So maybe
If I help you sew on patches
And let you watch me stitch together
Ragged pieces of cloth
That I can’t quite mend yet
You’ll learn how to sew too.