I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')


These poems are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here.

12 December 2011

Quilt

I made it when my kids were small.
It lay on our queen-size bed
all the further years of that long marriage.

Not your neat, traditional crochet squares
but larger, lacier, the pattern
more complex. I was proud

of this persevering work of my hands:
a fine thing, a whole year to make.
I loved its rich, strong colours.

It was variegated green, emerald to sage.
It was two tones of red, intense
and understated. And the wide borders

were black. I thought they gleamed
with power and love. The top, defined
by wider black, turned back over the pillow.

After the marriage ended in tears,
I folded the quilt away in a cupboard ...
bundled it off at last to the charity shop.

What comfort could it be to my old age?
Rage had turned it ugly in my sight.
Grief had made it lie too heavy on me.

Now I live in a warm climate. I like
the Indian cotton throw I bought:
lighter, freer, matching my present love.


Published in Notes for the Translators: from 142 Australian and New Zealand Poets, ed. Christopher (Kit) Kelen. Macao, ASM, 2013



Intended for dVerse Poetics: Fabric of our lives — but I was too late. Check the link anyway, for a diversity of good poetry!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Rosemary, sometimes it IS best to put the past behind you and embrace (literally and figuratively) the present! Hopefully someone is enjoying that quilt of your past.

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  2. Thank you, dear Mary, for your comment.

    I have now rewritten the whole piece as free verse instead, and reposted it here! But the message is the same. :)

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  3. lie to heavy on you...i imagine so...and what a symbol of you turning that page as well in your life...very nicely written rosemary

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  4. Thank you, Brian — and thanks to dVerse for such an inspiring prompt.

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  5. lighter, freer, matching my present love... what a great ending to such a fine poem... love how the quilt became part of your life and then there was the time when it didn't fit any longer..things like this happen and it's good to be able to let go...love the transformation here rosemary..

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  6. Thank you Claudia, I appreciate your comment.

    What the poem doesn't say is how many years it was in the cupboard, and even carted from place to place during various house moves, before I was finally able to let it go! But yes, eventually.

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  7. This is lovely. I'm so sorry about the marriage, but you've described all those feelings so simply and beautifully. K.

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  8. Thank you - and it was a long time ago. 'Emotion recollected in tranquility', as Wordsworth said!) I have been married to my present husband 18 years now.

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  9. What a moving story of your quilt. Letting go just when you needed to. Lovely piece

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