Divorce Quilt - Poem by Taylor Graham
The anger comes out through the fingers,
these threads forced through fabric,
the needle’s prick.
And yet, she wouldn’t have dreamed the colors.
Crimson, black, a fire guttering; storm cell
building up to thunderhead.
And that’s only the first quilted square.
The next one, heavy gray wool,
complexion of a man who chokes
on T-bone cooked just right.
This square commemorates
the empty bed: a patch of flowered
flannel sheet, roses nestled in forget-
me-nots, with her stitching
X’ed across each petal.
The labors of a year, that’s how long
it took to work hurt
into the measured squares
and master the colors’ clash.
Stay long enough,
she’ll narrate every square.
For border, her wedding gown
in pieces, egg-shell lace on satin.
Pale gray wool, November-weight,
for the backing. She admits
the quilt is just too heavy
to be a comfort on the bed.
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