My grandmother Bertie never drove a car.
She drove the pedal of a l935 Singer sewing machine,
Saved with patches
Mended the tears
Hemmed the edges
Created quilts and aprons
Pot holders and pillowcases.
She made flyswatters; everybody had one or three.
She neatly stitched a biased strip of fabric
from a worn-out skirt
around the pointy edges of a
rectangle of screen wire.
By hand, she stitched to the screen
a wire handle PaPa bent
from a broken clothes hanger kept
on a nail in the barn for such a time.
I remember several flyswatters,
each with holes worn through the screen
from slapping flies against the walls,
the door facings,
the sink or
occasionally used to slap the backside of a wayward child.
Daddy hated a fly in the house.
He’d rather see a snake.
With no air-conditioning and no screens on summer windows
We needed a lot of Mama’s flyswatters.
Oh, and there were seven children.
Nobody drives her Singer these days.
It’s parked against a wall in one of EO’s houses.
Nobody makes it hum as the curves are turned.