Lace

When I unwrap the holiday ornaments 
the stiff snowflakes pause a moment in my hand, 
fashioned, starched in precise geometry
by my mother, who stitched frugal threads 
into transcendence. 

Once I presented her with 
a bedspread from my husband’s family 
not quite finished, a long-forgotten interruption. 
She studied the pattern, dyed the thread 
to match someone else’s story, 
not unlike her dutiful life as pastor’s wife, mother of six. 

She sometimes tatted her fancies, a risky enterprise when 
mistakes could not be undone. 

She never felt the comfort of belonging, 
always outside an invisible, impenetrable barrier, 
until she looked out and saw that the circle 
was far more capacious and so 

she created a pattern of welcome 
for those who also felt unseen, unwanted, 
needed the offer of beauty she knitted and knotted 
from her humble, loving self.