12.05.2005

Quilting

(NOTICE: if you are my parents, do not read this post - it contains a Christmas present spoiler.)

(a slightly longer poem)

my wife is making a quilt
for my parents for christmas
And suddenly, I want to capitalize.

She's sewing squares into strips of three
And I want to write a poem
But it seems I have unlearned
them all,
And when I look at the blank page before me
I know I haven't earned
The right to write, tonight.

The quilt is-or rather, the quilt will be-
Purple and gold and tan:
All fabrics I picked out
(Because I know well my mother's tastes)
. But now, all I can do is sit
At the kitchen table, beside my wife,
Not writing. I doubt and waste
The evening, wondering if I can
Do the thing I know I can.

Her sewing machine is a white White
And our walls are white
And my thermal underwear is white
And we are white,
And we are white all through,
Except for my wife's grey sweatshirt.
Or is it gray? I never know.

The needle is so sure,
It is a blur of prolificity.
I want to rhyme and not to rhyme;
I want, for my words,
Elegance, Simplicity.
I think sometimes I ask too much of me
I think, sometimes.
I think sometimes I ask too much.
(I love that formulation
But I do not yet know
How to fit it in)
I think I sin.

* * *

She has finished for the night,
And we have watched our show.
I want to write some more tonight
But, still, I do not know:
Which way, which way tonight will my thoughts go?
I know I do not know, I know I know.

1 Comments:

Anonymous J.D. Piperson said...

I wonder if your wife would appreciate you ruining her Christmas surprise!

4:48 PM  

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