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Whitney Albright

Rookie (07-31-1988 / Alabama)

American Quilt

When women couldn’t vote
Or have their equal rights
They would quilt after their chores
And stitch all through the night
They quilted huge American flags
To hang somewhere on the wall
To quilt and be heard;
Or never be heard it all

When black women were slaves
And finished tilling the fields
They would make their quilts
Seem somewhat like a shield
Putting their pain in every stitch
They buried freedom in the thread
Folded up their work
And layed it on their beds

I use to lie underneath the framework
At my grandmother’s quilting bee
And watch the colorful needlework
Paint a canvas for me
Only their shoes were visible
From my place on the floor
I’d poke needles in my ceiling
Until my fingers were sore

It seems the thousands of pieces
Were meant to be made as one
As you look over to the blanket
That wraps around your son
You run your fingers across each seam
Until you change to a better condition
And you wish that quilting
Wasn’t a dying tradition

Submitted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Edited: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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