I knew an old man who collected buttons:
puce plastic, mother-of-pearl, teal craftings.
Some were large enough to cover half your palm,
others small enough to pin on the waistcoat
of a bumblebee.
When I asked him why, he said:
“My mother was a seamstress
who was never proud of her profession.
But she mended the seams of my pants
whenever I split them in rough play.
She sewed buttons on my sister’s dresses
when we couldn’t afford better fabric
and still she sparkled –
a mosaic of stars.”