The Quilt by Martina Avis

I got the material from a grandmother
not my grandmother, but a woman
she had borne children
they had borne children
there was a general striding of time that was appropriate to christen the cloth

to make it deep with winter, spring, summer, Death

to make the threads
to thread the threads
to ply the threads
to twine the threads

with the ineffable
the speechless time monkeys

the statues that look at us

wrought from cliffs dyed
to our imaginations

Like a deep bear
like a dark spot on the bluff that when climbed
is only a contour

not a cave
not alive
but watching us all the same

watching our humanness

The cloth spread out and settled over the world.
Old night saw that it was good
spread with not a wrinkle
on the shapes of the world

and that was humanness

And that was what we donned
in daylight

waiting there
for our children to go to sleep by themselves
for our souls to have a moment
to reunite with the snow that fell

and the leaves that fell
and the love that kindled anew

When the shapes moved under the quilt of the grandmother
I didn’t know if it was the world I’d lost
or the world I’d gained

About the Author

Martina Avis was born and raised in the Slocan Valley. She has a BA in Literature from the University of Victoria and writes intermittently. She returned to the valley about ten years ago and is raising two children and a dog who looks like a dingo.

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