Many fragments compose this masterpiece
Stitched with the heartstrings that skip a generation
Recognized by all who can see the intricacies
Of a far-sighted mind.
Here is a piece of Arbutus’ communion gown,
attached to a remnant of Uncle Virgil’s wedding suit
hinted with the lipstick of Aunt Rachel.
A green linen square revives Willard, another uncle
Killed in Vietnam though kept alive within his mother’s heart.
A tiny segment included from grandmother’s apron
Worn thin by celebratory feasts and stained with blackberry juice
Berries that were grown to pay the mortgage
The tattered square somehow sparks visions
Of pancakes and dark King syrup.
This embroidered heart shows me the love
I knew so long ago from a grandmother that held me in her arms
And wept as I was taken away to foster care,
Allowed nothing but a few clothes and this quilt around my shoulders.
The product of a bitter parent dealt an unfulfilled life.
This masterpiece tells a story that will withstand time
Of love and family, of childhood.
Representing the ties that bind through generations.
I remember, grandmother remembered…she knew
I would return to her someday when I was ready.
She is gone and with her went my childhood,
I am grateful she gave me a past and a history.
My children look bewildered as I sit crying
fingering grandmother's quilt, remembering.