I wrote this poem in 2011. Back then, everything I wrote turned out to be about the earthquake, whether I intended it or not. This poem is no exception. I chose it for today because during this weekend's three year anniversary of the earthquake, I want to focus on how the love and support and comfort of friends and family got me through those horrible days.
Ladies in southern Indiana made this quilt.
It's not the fancy kind you'd buy in a store.
It's the kind made from real scraps,
Somebody's apron and somebody's shirt and somebody's pants
All stitched together on Thursday nights at the Sewing Circle
To send to the missionaries.
This quilt sat in the provision closet in the mission headquarters
Until a mother chose it to keep her tow-headed children warm
On winter nights in Tokyo
And when I married one of her boys, this quilt became mine.
This quilt warmed me as I slept.
Stretched out on the floor
It gave my babies a soft place to play.
A fat, healthy Haitian baby played on it too
And this quilt hung many times on my Caribbean clothesline
And faded lazily in the sun.
Somebody's Sunday dress from Indiana
Chopped up into squares
Shook gently over sleeping children in Japanese earthquakes,
So commonplace that no one even woke.
Somebody's child's school skirt
Cushioned sleepers in my courtyard
After a Haitian earthquake chased everyone out from under a concrete roof.
Ladies in southern Indiana never knew
As their conversation meandered
Over the colorful fabric in their laps
Where this quilt would go
And what wordless comfort it would bring
In places they would never see.
Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup, at No Water River.
22 minutes ago