Mother-machine my strength!
Day in and day out, the lovely rhythm of the motor -
lulling us to sleep and giving us comfort.
My lovely mother and her sewing machine:
earned the clothes we wore; earned the food we ate;
the source of protection over our head;
earned us education that put us way ahead.
Day in and day out – she labored,
stitching clothes for the entire neighborhood.
Some days, it was agonizing to watch her ache yet smile -
her dozing at the machine trying to meet deadline.
Some days, it was simply joyful to watch -
her creativity in the designs and the elegant lines.
Such creativity – yes! In her eyes I saw ambition.
None came true! I saw it, despair and outrage!
Chanelling that to educate her girls – her new ambition.
Such fervor, such support she gave – I stop and inhale.
No wonder I see pride in her eyes when ‘we’ stand with her tall.
Today, I am who I am thanks to the sewing machine
and my adorable mother who loved her machine.
Seven children she raised with love and care and hard work.
The eldest daughter of the mother-machine hates that machine!
Learned its tricks helping out – yet, hate it with such fervor …
It broke her backbone – hours and hours the mother sat over it.
Some days it just stopped her from getting her pay;
breaking itself – forcing hungry kids to pray.
Clever mother does not let her machine sulk -
With her screw drivers – she pecks at it until it yields.
The despair in her kind eyes while she pecks -
broke my then-teenage heart; made me work hard.
This love-hate relationship with the machine! -
changed face only a few times through three decades.
The machine sits proud in our home -
i dread it all the same – yet idolize it to no end :)
My mother my strength! The machine her strength!
She is one with her machine. Today in her late 50s -
one hell of a creative designer she is – just like in the 80s.
Pulling out cute little dresses from under the blade!
Blade of her machine – for her darling daughters-grand!
No more laboring over it for money – but only for the joy it gives.
P.S. Image source:
This is a poem I attempted some months ago after we have had a discussion about how our childhood memories were associated with the sound of sewing machines with loved ones laboring over it.
And I wrote this one as a tribute to my lovely adorable mother. She is my strength. We don't say much in so many words. She has a gleam in her eyes, a pride in her voice, a smile on her lips when she talks to me. If I am strong, I am strong for her. I would never want her to know what I put up with.