Thirteen ways of looking at A Pattern

I

Among twenty boxes of patterns

The only desired thing

Is that pattern, over there, on the Internet.

 

II

I had three ideas

Like a table

On which ten patterns are hopelessly jumbled.

 

III

The pattern lies wrinkled on the floor.

It was a small part of the shambles.

 

IV

An idea and a pattern 

Are one.

An idea and a pattern and two yards of Tana Lawn

Are one.

 

V

I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of the line 

Or the beauty of the fold,

The girl in the illustration,

Or the dress made flesh.

 

VI

Pins scatter themselves

With ill intent.

The lines of the pattern

Break and clash.

The plaid

Underneath it all

A matchless question.

 

VII

O thin women of Vogue

Why do you imagine harem pants?

Do you not see how the full skirts

Swirl around the knees 

Of the women about you?

 

VIII

I know welt pockets 

And gently rolling collars;

But I know, too,

That the pattern doesn’t know

What I don’t know.

 

IX

When the facing piece disappeared

It marked the end

Of following instructions.

 

X

At the sight of the name

“Ceil Chapman”

Even those who draft for themselves

Hit the “Buy It Now” button.

 

XI

She floored the pedal

Of the machine.

Once, a fear pierced her

In that she mistook

The back bodice of 4788

For that of 8744.

 

XII

The pattern is motionless.

The scissors must be snipping.

 

XIII

It was almost finished all day.

It was done and almost done.

The pattern did not

Fit back in the envelope.

 

[with apologies]

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