Nine-patch, maple leaf, bowtie, flying geese and wedding ring
in squares and neat hand stiches
packed away in trunks and closet shelves
to be handed down, mother to daughter to grand-daughter
the hours of love and labor are tossed away,
sent to resale shops and auctions
and the history is broken.
Who made this one with its carefully stitched outlines and patterns?
Where did she live and were her eyes still sharp as she plied her needle
to make the tiny, even stitches?
Years and years later, when the quilt comes into my hands,
her stitches hold, outlasting some of the fabric that has given in to time
and loosed its threads in ravels of color.
From me, the tradition starts anew.
The quilt will pass from grandmother to granddaughter
and perhaps become the treasured gift
its maker intended it to be.