Showing posts from February, 2021

Decide for Yourself

Sunday mornings  At the breakfast table: “Where’d you get those bruises, Wife?” “What bruises?” “There.  On your arm.   Both of your arms.” The dark purple of your skin Echoes the noise of the litany: His complaints  On and on last night. Too old now To call you, To ask for water, To stop him  To keep him away From you, I listened. I waited For you To subdue His drunken ire By apologizing: “I’m sorry.” Silence came. The creak of stairs And bed springs Followed As the argument lay exhausted Between you. You survived. So did we. By morning, It never happened: “I don’t know how I got them.” You took us to church So we might know God And make our own decision About him someday And so he could have Time To himself, A break from us.

Moving Forward with the Past

It took forty years for me to complete this rug begun by my grandmother, her mother, and other ladies of the family.  I received the rug, Juliet Oriential, from my grandmother, Marjorie Isbell Wiley, when I was fourteen and facing the imminent prospect of her demise.  This was a prospect I could not fathom; my grandmother's passing broke my heart.  I kept the rug, the wool, the hook, the fame, the wool cutter all this time.  This winter, I did what my grandmother said and worked on the rug. When I got to this point, Maeve stood by me and the work.  At this stage, I had completed all the work that had been begun by others and was on my own with it. I worked on this weekend mornings in natural light.  When the winter sun was bright, the texture of the various fibers was as clear to my eyes as it was to my fingers.   I was impressed by how the weight of the rug grew as the work progressed.  I used wool that my great-grandmother left behind.  There were scraps of yarn, strips of fabric