Agnieszka Filipek

My mother taught me how to mend and sew
when clothes got worn out.

She’d take me to the haberdashery store
to pick colourful patches

baskets filled with flowers, insects,
and animals like a little zoo.

They came alive on a leg or an arm.
Sometimes I’d get a patch for my backpack as well.

I couldn’t look outside the window while at school
the teacher would shout and put me in the corner

and there I’d stand with my back to the classroom
only the butterflies on my elbows flying free.