The Covering’s Story


When the telly’s not in use
instead of the black hole
drawing me towards
its rectangular event horizon,
I gaze upon the covering quilt,
each piece of fabric
from my Grandma Bessie’s
stash of bits and scraps,
gathered and collected
over many years.

In these squares of squares,
I see parts of my life,
pieces from a doll’s dress,
one of my own as a child,
or a dress she once wore
sitting kindly-faced
looking out the window
of her little apartment,
or waving farewell to me
when last I saw her four decades ago.
I can see her still
bent over her sewing machine,
hear it clacking away
as each tiny square
added to another made
larger squares,
being brought together
to form the cherished whole.

It bears the mark made
where my infant nephew threw-up,
and wears that stain proudly,
as part of its entire story
seen when sitting down
in the snug of an evening to read,
eschewing televised fare
for the nourishment
of a few chapters of my autobiography
manifest in scraps of cloth
bound with the love
of one who though no longer alive,
is with me still.