She had spent all her adult life holding a needle and thread. She had sewed and embroidered all her trousseau and her wedding dress by hand; stitched up holes in shirts and overalls; darned her stockings and his socks until her eyes smarted. Every evening, the needle in her fingers went up and down, like her lineman on his ladder, stitching up their life, weaving secret spells to keep him safe while waiting for his call.
One day, the call didn’t come; only his broken body on the back of the company pick-up. She spent a whole evening tacking his shroud with neat, tight stitches, her mouth set firmly, a dam holding back a flood of tears.
Each day now, she trudges lonely, rain-soaked roads, lined with sagging wires and endless poles, listening for his song, a hum on the wind, hopelessly trying to darn the hole in her heart.
Kim M. Russell, 4th August 2019
Magaly is back this Sunday with the sixth month of the Pantry of Prose, exploring one of her favourite words: stitch(es). She invites us to write a new short story, essay or article (in 313 words or fewer), which uses ‘stitches’ in any of the ways she has described. As a secondary option, we can take one of our old poems, which fits this week’s theme, and turn it into a new short story.
I took an old poem from April 2017, ‘Wichita Wife’, and have rewritten it as prose.