09 August 2010

Poem: "A Crazy Quilt"

An elderly neighbor passed away and his widow found out I was interested in genealogy so she gave me all his study materials.  I found the following poem included amongst the papers.  The citation reads "From the 'Romance of the Patch Work,' by Douglas Mallock, seen at the display of rare old quilts, Denver Museum, June 2. 1970."

They do not make them anymore
For quilts are cheaper at the store
Than woman's labor, though a wife
Men think the cheapest thing in life
But now and then a quilt is spread
Upon a quaint old walnut bed.
A crazy quilt of those old days
That I am old enough to praise.

Some women sewed these points and squares
Into a pattern like life's cares.
Here is a velvet that was strong
The poplin that she wore so long,
A fragment from her daughter's dress,
Like her, a vanished loveliness;
Old patches of such things as these,
Old garments and old memories.

And what is life: a crazy quilt
Sorrow and joy, and grace and guilt
With here and there a square of blue
For some old happiness we knew;
And so the hand of time will take
The fragment of our lives and make,
Out of life's remnant as they fall,
A thing of beauty after all.
Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

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