Handkerchief, a prose poem
Made of linen, wide band of tatted lace around the edge, now slightly torn.
The linen is white, tinted grayish-green, the lace silvery like sea foam, and that delicate.
In 1900, a bride carried this in her bodice, next to her heart, and when she saw her fiancé at the altar, she began to perspire. Her salts are in the fabric still.
How she loved him in that moment…. What isn’t here is the rest — six children, five boys and a girl, the farmhouse so cold in the mornings, before she lit the fire.
Her husband’s waxy handlebar moustache, his pleated ruby waistcoats, hand-sewn each night until her shoulders ached.
How many times had she tried to imagine their wedding night as she tatted her lace, each delicate loop like a caress?