"Mama's Quilt"

These squares - right here - the blue ones,
Came from one of Papa's shirts,
His fav'rite, heavy denim one,
Which he often wore to work.

How many times Mom patched it,
'Til there was nothing left to fix,
Papa wore it 'til it fell apart,
Mom salvaged just these bits.

Over here - oh, look at this,
See that little spot of plaid,
Oh, I remember that so well,
Part of a scarf that I once had.

It was a snowy day in winter,
I recall I wasn't very old,
I started out the door for school,
And it was freezing, icy cold.

Grandma handed me that scarf,
She took it from her shoulder,
She wrapped it snugly 'round my neck,
To keep me from getting colder.

And this yellow swatch - oh my,
See the tiny flowers,
'Twas from a dress my Mama made,
She worked on that for hours.

It became her fav'rite dress, I think,
She wore it all the time,
Papa liked it on her, too,
He used to tell her she looked fine.

Of course, she wore it near to threads,
It got to be a family joke,
We teased about which would go first,
Its bodice or its yoke.

This red square makes me laugh out loud,
I never saw it worn,
It came from Grandpa's underwear,
Which he wore winters to keep warm.

They don't make red flannels any more,
I think we miss a treat,
They call them thermal garments now,
And they have polyester seats.

See that sort of fuzzy square,
Right there - at the side,
That was part of Buffy's blanket,
He'd crawl under it and hide.

He hid his balls and rubber toys,
Underneath that blanket, too,
Oh, how he barked with doggy joy,
When he pulled his treasures out to chew.

Most quilts don't have a patch of black,
But this one surely does,
It came from Papa's Father's suit,
He was a man of God.

It was from his Sunday-go-to-meetin' suit,
That he wore to preach his sermons,
He was a Bible thumpin' preacher man,
Who had no formal learnin's.

This quilt was built with bits of love,
Mama said it represents our lives,
Our entire family history, 
Now within its folds, resides.

She said one day it would be mine,
And that I should pass it on,
After adding patches of my own,
Of my chintzes and cretonnes.

And when my daughter gets the quilt,
To warn her of its age,
She should treat it gently with respect,
For it is her heritage.

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright 2000



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