Mothers Mending

After the tussle—or would you call it
a clash?—we stitch the torn uniforms
you men bring home.

Little needle, glint and glide …

After the cut—or would you call it
a gash?—we stitch the torn skin
you men bring in.

Little needle, glint and glide.
Lead this thread to heal and hide …

After the war—or should we call it
murder—we stitch the shrouds
you men wear now.

Little needle, glint and glide.
Lead this thread to heal and hide.
Never ask us to explain
why you left us here in pain.

March 2022, Poets response
BY Kim Stafford


When I read about Ukrainian mothers sewing their children’s names and blood type onto children’s clothes, I start to think of other kinds of sewing they will need to do As a poet, I’m often asked ‘What can poetry do in such a time?’ Then I hear about people singing in wartime to empower their spirits, and I’m moved to try, again, to see what a poem, a little song, could do. In the terrors of the current war in Ukraine, the idea of a soldier on the battlefield calling his mother at home struck me to the heart. What would he say, and what could he ask of her?”

Kim Stafford

7 thoughts on “Mothers Mending

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