Thursday, February 28, 2008

An American Sampler

This poem was posted at a couple of boards by my friend, Sheri. It's very moving -- it made me cry.

American Sampler by Renee Goularte

Each stitch of her embroidery she laid perfectly straight,
end to end,
black, blue, yellow --
a sample of her life.

Cross-stitched in the letters of her alphabet,
she wrote the pain of one dead child
and bruises she hid below her skin.

With each loss, she retreated to her stitching,
a woman alone,
a needle her only protection.

Watching out across the plain,
she could see the slow billowing of telltale dust on the horizon:
that storm-cloud brewing,
silenced only by distance and her secret musings.

And when she closed the door she would run her fingers softly over the story in her stitching.

It hangs in a museum now.
Visitors marvel at the straightness of her lines, the gentle symmetry of the design,
imagine her in her simplicity.

They see in the flowered border a piece of time,
a peace of time,
the romance of land newly settled.

Along the bottom they read,
whispering the letters of the name she left unfinished.

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