Linen and Lace

JW with her mother


Behind the heavy
wooden doors
lies a treasure
of linen and lace
hidden away………LINEN AND LACE
from spying eyes
waiting with
charm and grace,
while put asunder
in careless disorder
piled in stacks
pushed into cracks
shoved together
in multiple colors
unable to tell
one from another
the job was
beyond the pale,
a shameless romance
with a terrible
dance of dismay,
I hastened to
catch my breath,
and then I dove in
and followed the
whims, the textures
in shades of white,
deep purple ribbons
wound in mats of straw
it was hard to decipher
the mess that I saw,
but soon in the fertile
bloom of my mind
the pictures of times
became a prime and
motivating rhyme,
sorting the napkins,
pink and blue, aqua
and scarlett and
polka dot too,
pile after pile of tiny
white squares, sewn
in bright colors
often prepared
in a matching set,
lest we forget the
parties and teas, under
fragrant flowering trees,
the dinners and lunches
and meetings,
each intricate cloth
was ruffled with froth
and folded away
in the season,
I saw Nana’s tables
with flowers and lace,
my mother and father
married in grace,
sexy black napkins
from a dinner of love
ornate rings, turtle doves,
tassles bound with
formal patterns
and tiny napkins
slightly tattered,
all with a scent
of lavender, saved
for my eyes to see,
Christmas in shiny red
and green squares
bound up and waiting
for the next family,
I had carried this home
unable to part
with a glorious show
and piece of my heart,
so I fondled the soft
rows of tablecloths,
Starchy old pieces
Set in a bundle
of soft ancient
creases, the morning
grew long and slipped
away, while I finished
my song of memory play,
and now it is done, all
neat and preserved,
I open the door and smile,
and it will be there
for me to share, my
very own family tree
the ecstacy of
wondrous care,
behind the door
right before
you reach the top
of the stairs!
©J.W. WINSLOW 6/1/14