I had forgotten the sachet that I hem-stitched and embroidered for my mother as a child. It was a surprise when it surfaced among the clutter in the sewing box at the end of her life. I suppose she prized it, as I still prize the things my own children made.
My Mother’s Book of Hours: Novena
From chalk & talk in Needlecraft, off-cuts of fabric rustle out:
Triumphantly you hold aloft the soft velvet cord
Of a coat I sewed you for school plays;
And the Irish linen of a sachet for white handkerchiefs—
What on earth is that? you ask.
It is a thing I sewed for Mum, I say, in tiny, pin-prick hem-stitching,
The hankies folded, redolent of peachy face-powder
And other relics of a bygone age,
A bygone stage.
© Lizzie Ballagher