The Stretch of Memory
by Ann E. Wallace

I can measure out an imaginary yard of fabric pulling
the air, right hand 36 inches from left, the motion
imprinted from one summer job thirty years past, of
hoisting, unwinding, cutting lengths of 45- and 60-inch bolts.

Like walking in sand, some motions are not
forgotten, the sink of my heels down into the cool,
the pull of toes weighted with dampened grains
clumped to the point of heft with each step forward.

Or my left hand stretched across the belly of an infant,
holding diaper in place, the other hand ready
to seal one tab and then the other, fingers stretching
just a little wider each day, until no longer needed.

Never as wide as an ivory octave, mastered as early
as my fingers could span eight keys, made easier
over time with practice and growth, but small hands will
ever ply beyond comfort for the perfect well-known reach.

 

About the Poet:  Ann E. Wallace’s poetry collection, Counting by Sevens,is forthcoming in summer 2019 from Main Street Rag. Recently published pieces in journals such asMom Egg Review, WordgatheringSnapdragon,Rogue Agent, and Riggweltercan be found on her website AnnWallacePhD.com. She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is on Twitter @annwlace409.