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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

next tuesday

good material
she says
when i dropped off the new shirts
and three pairs of pants
well-made, good weave
almost a shame to cut it
she says

an asian face
about my age
soft, wrinkleless
but work-worn
serious, she studies the work
of the factory worker
where perhaps
she worked before

every move she makes
as she pulls a sleeve down
rolls a cuff up
or runs the cloth tape
down my arm
and up my leg
is the graceful hand
of a true artisan
bent on making
a perfect fit

will be done next tuesday
she says
pay me when you pick them up
handing me the ticket
the first smile
spreads across her face

but i think of her now
as she clips my sleeves
straightens the material
lines it all up perfectly
then feeds it through

as she pumps the
worn and dirty black rubber
on the old metal treadle
with her foot
that makes the needle bob
as slow and steady as she likes

i’ll write the check
without a thought
of whether or not
the price is reasonable
it will fit just right
when i’m back in her shop
next tuesday

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