for Etta Abrams Glazier (1902-1991)
Apron—I can hear your voice
written in your penciled script
on the envelope I saved for many years,
tucked under lace-edged handkerchiefs
in my dresser drawer.
Apron—a single word —told me
I would find folded-tissue patterns
for the florals, prints, and plaids,
fashion-fresh for cover-ups
and hostess wear, you
and your Hadassah friends
would gather to create
for fund-raising fun.
I, too, was your creation, guided
straight as stitches beneath
the needle of your Singer wheel,
the pattern you cut carefully
to follow hand-and-heart,
committed to a legacy of visions
of exiled wanderers returning, at long last,
from homelessness to home.
Childhood memories connect me
to Hadassah in your life:
days for daughters and Hadassah
moms aboard the Admiral, sumptuous
Mississippi excursion river-boat;
Hadassah nurse in uniform
on my doll collection shelf;
Youth Aliyah—words I learned
for your state-side years supporting
Hadassah’s Rescue Homes for children
left adrift by war.
Apron strings kept us bound as you
reached your golden age and I
learned to shape patterns of my own.
Now, nearly 90 years myself, I usually
forget an apron for protective care.
But on occasion, when I suspect splatters,
I take one you made for me
from the kitchen drawer:
Hadassah ties around my waist,
the fit remains the same.