Issue > Poetry
Maren O. Mitchell

Maren O. Mitchell

Maren O. Mitchell has lived in France, Germany, the southeast US, and now lives with her husband in the Georgia mountains. Her poems appear in Poetry East, Tar River Poetry, Hotel Amerika, The Pedestal Magazine, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere. Her nonfiction is Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider's Guide (Line of Sight Press, 2012). Two poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Stitching Dollars Together


Summer 1981, between worse and better jobs, I found work
at "Ruth's Originals," outside a North Carolina mountain town

in a large metal rectangle, one door, no windows, no AC, inside
walls a gray no imagination could improve, along with 40 other

women, to the whining roar of racehorse sewing machines
we rode, stitching flowery fabric into expensive dresses for little

girls, our backs hunched, our lungs sucking in lint-decorated air
as cheap thread broke every few minutes in the hard gear mouths,

lured on by a few cents extra for the fast who had worked there
so long that their feet and hands extended into machines, yet

two 10 minute breaks were the opportunity to line up at four
stalls, hope to get relief in time, as the chances of stitching

fingers together instead of fabric tightened our bladders, while
during the 30 minute lunch break I could choose not to sit

at tables in front of the stalls and numbly eat from a nosebag
lunch, but bolt for the one door, to wall-less air, to sunlit blue

and green, alone with book or music, until I had spent my furlough
and the heavy metal door again enclosed me with machines.

 

Poetry

Doug Ramspeck

Doug Ramspeck
Dialogue And Asymmetry

Poetry

Stephen Knauth

Stephen Knauth
Rest Stop

Poetry

Holly Karapetkova

Holly Karapetkova
The Life Of Objects