HomeSouthern VoiceParable of the Sewer

Parable of the Sewer

by C.N. Bean

My mother loved to sit
and sew
with her Singer

filling the air with buzz
and scissor snips
at night after work.

When winter came
we moved downstairs
and slept

in a cold house.
Food and rent left little
for heat.

One day after school
I found the house
gutted.

Dad had sold everything
to an auctioneer
who had carted the furnishings away.

Dad said
we were heading south
where it was warm

as I looked
around
at space.

The moment
my mother walked in
coat on

and saw
her sewing machine gone
she wept

until her eyes
ran out
of thread.

In addition to serving on the English faculty of Virginia Tech, C.N. Bean has published three novels with Putnam/Penguin: A Soul to Take, With Evil Intent and Dust to Dust, and poetry in magazines such as Miranda Literary Review, Blaze Vox and The Dead Mule. One of her screenplays has been produced as a film, “The Dream Interpreter,” and her screenplay “The World of Lonely” was a finalist in this year’s Charleston International Film Festival.¬†

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