Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011 by Teri H Hoover
for my nephew Stephen Michael Gabriel

Before today's first thought
I was not ok-
Defeated by the weight of my eyelids.

I crept through morning.
Veering toward a 10:30 appointment.
There was a quilt to bring home.
A quilt created during that first year to keep me afloat.

How wise I was to seek help in this last step.
How blessed I was to find a willing soul.
How safe all the bits will be; thousands of tiny stitches holding them fast.
How good that the quilt is now bound together.
How uncanny that today is your birthday.
How much I would rather have you.

Dislodging the pebble of damnation...
Tears of recklessness -
this vehicle is sobbed to a stop.
Just on the edge of the junk yard wreckage
nearly drowning in tears.

It is almost 11 -As the door opens I look away at an overturned planter.
It is no use, tear streaked and puffy I am offered hot tea.
A small dog named Maggie licks the salt from my cheeks.
Leaving the steaming tea pot in the kitchen 
we descend with tea, dog and faith 
to the quilters haven.

Bathing in sunlight,
fabric bits like a pile of scattered leaves.
The familiar colors greet me like the end of a journey.

This quilt is immense, it fills the whole table and falls over the edges.
This quilt is rich and strong- deep plum, apple green, warm brown, soft ocher and blue,
This quilt is now holding together heaven and earth with gold thread.
This quilt is the oceans and the shoreline, the mountains and the valleys.
This quilt is the meadows, tangled with vines and flowers.
This quilt is warmed by the sun and loved by the stars.
This quilt is surrounded in love.
This quilt is my way through.
This quilt is home.

My dog waits for the billowing quilt to land on the bed before pouncing into the colors.
Her nose comes close to mine and her tail thumps all those little threads.
It is time for a walk.
This dog, this quilt, these words have brought me through
For now my heart feels scrubbed clean, wrapped in a soft, lush, transparent cloud.

My mind fuzzy yet fresh, fogged yet clearly lightheaded.
I hear the crickets song,
They are singing Happy Birthday to the October son.
We miss you Stephen.

October 4, 2011
by teri h hoover


  1. Wow,Teri, that is an intense poem. It brought tears to my eyes. Was Stephen your son? You painted a vivid picture of that quilt and the day.

  2. Annette- Thank you for your kind words- I should have been more clear- and have now put a note at the top. This quilt grew out my grieving after the death of my 21 year old nephew. The poem sprung the completion of the quilt.

  3. I was glad to read you did not carry out this task alone. I read this post earlier and had the picture of the quilt from your blog up on my monitor most of today. Words fail...

    Blessings to you and your family ~


Comments are welcome and appreciated, thanks so much for stopping by.