“The Seamstress”

Dia de los Muertos

Listen to Jim Powell reading this poem. Knelt in the middle of the kitchen floor at midnight there’s only so much you can do to mend the skeleton spread-eagled on the linoleum painted in faded dayglo on a black leotard:

the fabric stretches over time, the fibers strain
and give and never spring back all the way. Needle and thread
stitch up the raveled sleeve, a sponge
blots fresh florescence
onto spine and ribcage

but light leaks through the brittle weave, the needle’s eye
grows dimmer, the grasp less sure, and joints ache on the cold floor
down again on hands and knees
to see the kindergartners
dance in the bones of the ancestors.