05 January 2010

Voices and Soul
Justice Putnam, Black Kos Tuesday's Chile, Poetry Editor

My Mother has been in and out of the hospital these last weeks. She's home now, after all, she is a tough gal from a family with a history of tough gals; but my siblings and myself are on a "watch." No family is exempt from sickness and loss. When it comes, especially during the holidays, a renewed appreciation arises; an appreciation of how motherly love and warmth envelopes us. This week's poem by Nikki Giovanni, on the irrevocable passing of life, reminds me of my Mother and of all the women here and elsewhere who have embraced me and us; how none will be forgotten and they will warm us still; because their memories and lives are gifts that can be stitched onto...


Like a fading piece of cloth
I am a failure

No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter
My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able
To hold the hot and cold

I wish for those first days
When just woven I could keep water
From seeping through
Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave
Dazzled the sunlight with my

I grow old though pleased with my memories
The tasks I can no longer complete
Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past

I offer no apology only
this plea:

When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm

And some old person with no one else to talk to
Will hear my whispers

And cuddle

-- Nikki Giovanni

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