Guest Poet Margaret A. Dukes

The mother's sewing needle whirs 
louder than her inner voice, 
The machine stops, 
she has to lick the thread 
to get it through the needle.

Up again, it starts, the soft hum 
of her work, backward, forward, 
holding all together, 
loving you a stitch at a time.

February, 1998

Margaret A. Dukes 's Questions:

I hope this is what I call a "finished" poem, since I have revised it a lot already.

However, someone asked me what does "it" refer to in the phrase "Up again it starts". Do you think I should change anything? I dont' think so, but would welcome opinions.

I wondered also what associations this has with anyone who reads it. And what interpretations do you make of it? There are layers of meaning to me that I will gladly share with you after I hear other people's interpretations.

Correspond with Margaret A. Dukes at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop