|The Quilts of Gee's Bend, Minnie Sue Coleman, Pig In A Pen Medallion|
Women who owned no shoes,
whose feet were hard as packed earth,
whose throats were open
flowers through which gospel poured,
made these praise-songs
of cotton, these shouts of necessary
color. In their work-
stiffened hands, the threaded needle,
Here are the scraps
of a husband,
his stained overalls, scorch
mark of denim punctuating the mute
expanse of fabric. Witness. Ripped
paisley tablecloth, shred of red scarf,
bleached fertilizer sacks.
Beautys hours stolen
away from chopping and hoeing,
the cleaver, the bucket, and the well.
I like to hang my quilts all on a line
outside, and stand back till I see them wave
like flags from a long ways off,
a woman says, who learned
from her mother (who had sixteen
children, and not a shoe
that if there was to be grace
in this life, she would have
to make it herself,
and that she could
and that it would live on.
Winner of the Writers Digest 2007 poetry prize
Find Alison Luterman's website here.
About The Quilts Of Gee's Bend
NPR: The Quilts Of Gee's Bend: A Showcase Of Distinctive Work By African-American Artists
THE QUILTS OF GEE'S BEND from Souls Grown Deep Foundation on Vimeo.
I'll be posting a poem every Sunday. Enjoy the read.