My grandson discovers the bin
of color, my mother’s stash
of baby quilts, ready to wrap
at the drop of an announcement.
He leads her by the hand to say,
please! In three generations, never
has such a request been made.
Protective and anxious, still
she can’t deny his quest
to explore her treasury, to snuggle
enswathe and pretend to sleep.
He studies each square with such
focus that she demands to know
the exact location of his own gifted
blanket. Alas, it’s stored out of reach,
too precious for the likes of sticky
toddlers and destructive dogs.
And so his great grandmother begins
sewing — as madly as an 84-year-old
can, accompanied by a soft song
of moans and groans, and breaks
to solve cozy mysteries — mainly murders.
At each visit, he inspects the blocks,
placed in strips just so, no two alike.
She’s had a hard time
choosing the binding.
The backing is a strange collage
black and white on blue.
He seems relieved when she adds
thick batting to make it squeezable.
And now, he spies it folded
neatly, and seizes the finished product
with a glad cry, Bibi, hide!
He is running to cover us
and create a new dark
quiet world. We look wide-eyed
into each other’s faces, whisper.
An audience is optional; we create
scary dragons out of the smallest
settling of the house, safe here
in the well-meaning stitches
placed in this brand new heirloom.