Missing Elegy For Mary
embroidered above a heart
sewn crooked on creased linen.
With crude silk you stitched a table set
and chairs pulled out but empty
as the house you once lived in.
I wonder if your mother
shook her head at your off-centre
heart. I wonder if your fingers wavered
when the needle needed re-threading.
Mary, why can’t you sew straight—
she’d scold, clenching all the linen
you wasted. You’d steady your hands,
shut your mouth tight, and try once more.
I wonder if you cried out to Christ
because you knew you’d be forgotten
like that undrunk wine or the house
you once lived in—a girl with futile
hands, trembling fingers useless
to wrinkled linen and a needle
crooked as those lines of verse
where you dreamt of a grave’s salvation.
Grace Celi (she/her) is currently pursuing a B.A. in Creative Writing at Franklin & Marshall College. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York. Her recent work is forthcoming in Beyond Queer Words and Prairie Margins.
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