Ever to Cover: A Quilt Eulogy

In the photo below is a handmade quilt for my mother, designed and put together by my sister Sharon Morine. It was the last gift my mother received and, when she opened it, she no longer understood what a present was. Our mother died the night before her seventy-first birthday, lying under what I know to be one of the finest birthday gifts ever. In memory of my mother, and the 10 months we spent together taking care of her after her initial stroke, my sister made me a quilt identical to Mom’s. My memento for my sister is this poem.

Ever to Cover

She made a quilt
to warm her mother
in her deathbed.
Once connected,
the wildest colors
joined together and
razzle-dazzled each other
into the biggest smile
ever to land on anyone

bright, bold, and full of humor
the quilt was a brazen reflection
of her mother’s personality
a custom gift wrap
to wear for her departure
of course the black was there, too
long, skinny pieces
in a happy border background
where random ragged
floaty white dots
sat and played

as trying days passed
somehow the border expanded with them
appeared to grow larger
come forward and take over
creating an absence of light
yet the quilt held tightly
to the vibrance of its colors
and steadfastly sat
on top of less movement
while the bleeding continued
in her mother’s brain
the quilt, in all its brilliance
could not create enough
heat or light to ease pain
or delay dying

the quilt-maker kissed her mother
one last time, and gently pulled
the rumpled pile of colors
away from the stillness
and the odor of sweat and struggle
buried in the cotton pieces
brought her to tears
and her wet face
absorbed the black
so deep in her pores
it seeped into her soul
seared her memories
and left her in ashes

broken in, the quilt now sits
folded and a bit faded
on the back of my sister’s sofa
holding up, yet softer
with each passing season
its smile of many colors
patiently waits to cover
and warm another, waits
to brighten, to commemorate
as it did so well
once upon a time
for my mother

Photo used with permission: sewextreme.com
Happy Quilt by Sharon Morine of Las Vegas NV


2 thoughts on “Ever to Cover: A Quilt Eulogy

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