Phibby’s Quilt

(for Phibby Venable)


It is, like any deceptively homespun piece worth its salt,

An amalgamation of the seemingly disconnected:

Oddly colored gourds, the bones of an unidentified beast

Of indeterminate age, small stones littered like misshapen dice

On the flagstone leading out to the garden,

And you fuss and fume that the pieces cannot fit together,

That the threads shall never hold,

But she merely works away (perhaps looking up momentarily

To fix you with the briefest of smiles), and the outcome of her labor

Is a garment fit for thrones and boxcars, and it is the exact piece

You would have fashioned yourself, if only the needle

Did not mock you with its prickly intransigence,

If only the stitches did not separate in the face of your patience and care.


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