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Greek translation Greek dictionariesEleni Vainas [ CV ]
   The Album Quilt

A gift of the community,
an Album Quilt records
the names of all who gave
this gift for bride's big day,
the Reverend's going away,
or any of life's changes
that call for works of art.
The memories it records
by simply affixing names
lend warmth and added luster
to the years that it remains
a special piece of art
brought out on holidays
to lie in state upon the bed.

Eight or ten or even more
worked consistently to cut
and piece and stitch and sew
this gift of art and love.
One treasured Album Quilt
of silken crazy patches
has two amusing aspects.

One patch unlike the others
is totally absurd
as if the one creating it
stood outside the door
while others picked and chose
a pleasing mix of scraps with
depth and strength of color
and she was left
whatever lay upon the floor.

As a community accepts
a daft but loving child
it was accepted as it was
and included with the rest
and there it lies along one edge
shouting out its differences
as if it were alive.

The second aspect of amusement.
has to do with names.
Stitched into one corner
is "Dr. Sullivan and Wife."
The curious are bound to ask,
who is she, what's her name,
this woman who toiled nightly
until this Album Quilt was done
and all who'd labored on it
signed their names in
silk floss stitches.
There's a Mabel, Doris, Ada,
spinsters I would think,
the others are all Mrs. Someone
she is simply "wife,"
pinned forever the attachment,
the appendage, "and wife."

'Course Dr. Sullivan's
first name's unknown
but he lost nothing of himself
as Sullivan came with him
when he married Mrs. Wife.
It is she who concerns me,
nameless woman, wife,
she who lived so long ago,
I wonder, was her name
eponymous or dull?
In life, was she possession,
nameless wife, woman,
through eternity remembered
as Mrs. Dr. Sullivan
of Dr. Sullivan and wife.

Signature or Album Quilt of Crazy Patches.

Size 74.5 x74.5. Condition very good; some fraying of the silk. Corded edge. From the McDonald Estate

Ref. poem: The Album Quilt


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