Inspired by her conservative grandmother who attempted to teach her to sew, Ellen Davies’ poem celebrates the advantages of ignorance.

Despite your lessons,
I never learnt to sew.
I could never master the fluid
movement required to darn a tear,
sealing it tight.
Could never emulate the steady rhythm
of your hands as you thread
the faint stitch through the lip
of the ripped fabric.
Your casual flick of the wrist.
The simple knot you tie with a gentle twist,
a bow formed from loose ends
and dangling cotton wisps.
Even now I bring you clothes.
Garments with gashes of flesh missing,
torn out by careless tumbles.
Blazers with burnished buttons slack
from too much wear.
I know what you will say.
I should learn to sew,
to seal up this gasping gulf,
but I bless my ignorant hands.

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