Thursday, March 31, 2011

Poem of the month: March

I still haven't blogged about the rest of spring break and our other going-ons. It might have something to do with a certain little destructive person in our home pulling off half of the keys on my laptop. . . .

Regardless, I did want to quickly post a poem of the month. This poem by Mormon writer Joanna Brooks is timely for me right now, as last Tuesday we had the birthday celebration for the Relief Society, the women's organization in our church. I wrote a reader's theater for our celebration, and it gave me the chance to remember and to reverence the great women who make up my history as a member of the Relief Society. This poem is also timely because of general conference this weekend, a time when we Latter-day Saints listen to council from the general leaders of our church. I look forward to this time and have such great memories associated with this time of year. These 2 events this week have reminded me, as Joanna Brooks says in this poem, "How wonderful it is to have a people to love." While Mormon culture has its negatives, there is still much to love in the history and traditions of my people. Like Brooks, I hope for "a quilt with no edges" and the courage, vision, and strength it will take to realize that.

by Joanna Brooks, published in Exponent II 30.3 (2010): 19.

Father, Mother, help me piece together the contradictions of my life:
White cotton, red satin, brown polka dot; torn Sunday dress, Navajo rug, frayed baby blanket.
Make me insistent on every lonely shred, willing to sacrifice no one.
Where there is no pattern, God, give me courage to organize a fearsome beauty.
Where there is unraveling, let me draw broad blanket stitches of sturdy blue yarn.

Mother, Father, give me vision.
Give me strength to work hours past my daughters' bedtime.
Give me an incandescent all-night garage with a quorum of thimble-thumbed
grandmothers sitting on borrowed folding chairs.
We will gather all the lost scraps and stitch
them together;
A quilt big enough to warm all our generations: all the lost, found, rich, poor, good, bad,
in, out, old, new, country, city, dusty, shiny ones;
A quilt big enough to cover all the alfalfa fields in the Great Basin.
Bigger. We are piecing together a quilt with no edges.
God, make me brave enough to love my people.
How wonderful it is to have a people to love.

1 comment:

draeves said...

Catherine--that's a lovely poem. I like the idea of a quilt stitched large enough to include everyone!