Tim Waller


You never know, what you’ll need, Mom says.
Bent over her second-hand Singer sewing machine,
Mom snips glossy black buttons from Dad’s Peacoat
he hasn’t worn for ten years.  That coat might
be moth-eaten, but the buttons look as good as those
at the Five and Ten. And they charge a pretty penny.
And Boy, don’t think for one minute they don’t.
She nods as if to reassure herself, hums a hymn
the church choir sang last Sunday, pulls threads.
There’s lots of history there, she laughs, her head
nodding at the Mason quart jar full of colored buttons
Grandma, during the Depression, cut from worn out shirts –
square, round, some pearl-shaped, smaller than a dime,
she swears came from a great aunt’s christening gown.