See in text (Text of the Poem)
In the era in which Bradstreet wrote, every-day clothing was generally made in the home instead of bought at a store. It was a mother’s job to dress her family and keep them warm. Here, the speaker dresses her metaphorical child in “rags,” or threadbare clothing that has been tattered by overuse and time. The disheveled appearance of this child would reflect badly on the mother tasked with clothing it; in other words, the rags are a sign of the speaker’s failures as a mother.
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