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Poem of the Week - ‘Sewing Lesson’ by Ellen Davies

Posted on July 08, 2015 by Pete Hebden | 0 comments

Despite your lessons
I never learnt to sew.
I could never master the fluid 
movement required to darn a tear
sealing it tight.
Could never emulate the steady rhythm
of your hands as you thread
the faint stitch through the lip
of the ripped fabric.
Your casual flick of the wrist.
The simple knot you tie with a gentle twist,
a bow formed from loose ends
and dangling cotton wisps.
Even now I bring you clothes.
Garments with gashes of flesh missing,
torn out by careless tumbles.
Blazers with burnished buttons slack
from too much wear.
I know what you will say.
I should learn to sew,
to seal up this gasping gulf,
but I bless my ignorant hands.


I’m going all soppy on you this week, and I’m not even sorry. This touching poem is my personal favourite from Ellen Davies’ very impressive debut pamphlet Accent (Cinnamon Press, 2015), which has been described by Ann Drysdale as containing ‘simple, faultless poems in which every word counts and chimes.’ She’s not wrong.

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