“Make do and mend” was a favourite saying of my parents and others in Britain who lived through World War 2. The ingrained attitude meant that in my teen years I spent many hours in a sort of darning purgatory. So I feel nothing but dismay as I review the darning paraphernalia that was left in our family sewing box. Yes, I can still “mend hosiery” (as the cards used to say so quaintly), but it will certainly never be a favourite occupation. Give me a poem to mend any time!
My Mother’s Book of Hours: Novena
From just below the open lids
A humble darning-mushroom surfaces—
Rough-scuffed by all the years of cloth stretched
Over it by Granny, Mum & me (& now perhaps by you)
And scratched by needles flashing in & out
Tugging miles of Mending Thread for Hosiery
Unreeling yarn from those quaint darning cards
That no one uses in this century.
© Lizzie Ballagher