Voices on the Wind
Voices from Home
by Larry Turner
The T Quilt
It was just there every night.
I needed no story of its origin,
of whom it had covered before me.
My brother, for one, had outgrown it no doubt.
It wasnít very big.
Nor do I remember when it was gone,
certainly before that memorable night
when I stretched and felt
my fingers touch the top of the mattress,
my toes the bottom,
and knew I was growing up.
It had many blues and white, I think,
each block with its central vertical bar
and triangles on each side at the top.
Long before I learned the alphabet,
I knew they were Tís
and slept each night
safe under the cover of family history.
The Red and White
For the woman who worked with Dee,
this was the pride of her hope chest:
White arcs of circles joined at both ends
into four-petalled flowers,
the spaces between filled with red and gingham.
Then she gave up hope,
made us a wedding gift of the quilt,
told us it was a hundred years old.
Too many nights we slept under it.
Too many days the sharp-toed dog lay on top.
Too many mornings the sharp-toothed cat
attacked arms or legs moving underneath.
Too many afternoons our sons
dragged it out of the bedroom,
wrestled on and under it while they watched TV.
Carelessly we let the red and gingham fade,
the white become dingy,
the center wear out into holes and torn scraps.
Some we stitched over and over with white machine thread;
others we just let hang.
Quilt in a Day
Waves of blue-grey and rose,
four shades, four patterns of each,
roll out diagonally
from the central cross
to the four corners,
framed by three more stripes.
Quilt in a day,they called it.
Perhaps it was, for those who made
a wall hanging or a baby quilt.
But for her first, Dee chose to make a king size.
A weekend, a week of evenings,
then a long Thanksgiving weekend,
morning to night. Strip by strip
each block grew until thirty-six were stacked up.
Laid side by side, they filled the family room.
Our sons and the girls they loved
passed the blocks up the stairs
in pairs, then in strips, then in pairs of strips,
up to the sewing machine, then back down
to their places in the design.
At two a.m. it was complete.
Our fragmenting, grown-up family
stitched together for one more weekend.