Treasures from the Op Shop
We are told, Jane Austen wrote, in 1792, on a tiny slip of paper,
a small poem as a gift to a friend and tucked it into the pocket
of a hussif.
opening a postage parcel ~
recycled wrapping paper
her birthday close to mine
splashes and sashes
the stroke of a brush
little french knots
in my palm,
a needle-case ~ (hussif)
plaited threads of sisterly love
wending pathways and flower beds
patchwork embroidery ~
a button makes a starry clasp
soft satin pockets
for scissors and spools
treasures from the op shops
in pink and lavender
stitched beneath a needle slip
her initials: M.S. 2004
Should we have attended Grammar School in the 1960's,
we would have been among those young women
complaining at the task of making a hussif. Hoping,
like my research subject, to put our hands
to wood, or metal work.
She protested too, at fretful felt fabrics already cut.
But, when she had finished the woolly blanket-stitch
edgings she elaborated her initials with colourful beads.