It was so small a thing,

a thimble in a forgotten drawer,

that ushered in a thousand memories

from long ago.

I recall

my mother’s thimbled finger

pushing her needle back and forth

to weave some woolen strands and camouflage

a hole in a worn out sock,

or renovate hand-me-down frocks,

brushing tears away as sisters fought

over who got what.

Late into the night she worked

making hats and coats, mending shirts,

patching this and that —

pulling her family through

the terrible times of World War II.

Scarcity, uncertainty stalked the land

would there be a future?

No one knew.

Did respite come with time

and bring relief?

Yes, years before she died

Mother no longer cried.

She could put her thimble away.

Rita Strow has been in Rice Lyons’ poetry group for several years, where, shes says, “I have always received encouragement and inspiration.” She adds: “Originally from Ireland, I have sometimes an Irish reference in a poem. However, most of my poems are the result of my living in the U.S. these many years.” She currently lives in Kingston.

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