I had good intentions when I decided to participate in Laura Shovan’s Found Object Poetry Project last month. Sadly, about halfway through the month, life intervened and writing a poem every day just wasn’t possible. I kept hoping to catch up though, so I downloaded Laura’s photos and jotted notes.
All of the photos were intriguing, but some spoke to me more than others. And although her sewing machine was much more utilitarian, this reminded me of my grandmother.
My grandmother raised three children during the Depression, so most of her sewing was out of necessity. But she also made gorgeous quilts out of feed bag fabric for my mother and my aunt that are still treasured family possessions.
I thought this poem might be a villanelle, but oh my, what a mess that was! So I took the lines I liked the best, rearranged them a little, kept some of the rhyme, and came up with this draft.
“Quilting a Garden”
After she finishes chores and demands,
a young woman cuts precise patches,
arrays them in patterns,
harmonious and grand.
Coarse cotton brightens hard times gloom
A young woman sews with a patient hand,
quilts a garden into bloom.
Stitch after stitch, thread becomes plume,
weaving her story strand by strand,
quilting a garden into bloom.
© Catherine Flynn, 2016
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