Soon, I notice the beginnings
of fear in fraying scraps from
a bathrobe you’ve forgotten
I gave you, the mother I miss gone
in a flutter of tailored blue trim, while
your memory’s soft batting spills
onto a crazy quilt of early crocus
The awful resentment in granny’s
faded remnants still swings too low,
blocking your chance to rise
above, her bitter view spun on threads
she sewed into your youth,
your marriage. And even though
I bend the branches down,
you can’t look far enough beyond.
Instead, you build on hard ground
with only heavy hurt,
using a muddled history
as nesting wattle over and over,
unable to see
your life in the trees.
*A friend of mine had the idea to put her colorful quilting scraps outside for birds to use in their nests, helping to create spontaneous works of art in nature. I began to envision the memories evoked by suddenly seeing a piece of old clothing in a new outdoor context, which led me down a completely different path.
I’m writing a poem a day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?