Anvil Quilt by Leijsa Squires, Page photo by Susan Wismer
Half-naked above me in autumn
the flowering crab is laden with hard little apples—
the bite that I take leaves a small bitter taste
in my throat. Birds will ignore them
all winter long until repeated
frosts soften them,
all else is gone.
From far away
the not quite sound of her voice
ghosts my ears, colours fade, a familiar scent rises
worn soft with years, wind-dried cotton, the red quilt
she made for my bed, crabapple shades patchworked
red, pink, green, soft brown, off-white
thinned comfort for my questing.
My chilled fingers plunge
bare garden hands deep in fresh shards
bright newcut wood chips piled at the roots
of the crabapple tree, touch warmth
unexpected, feel smoulder, find smoke
stinging the air, burning
tears in my eyes.
Water, air, matter. Flesh, bone, breath, blood.
How they can ignite. Every conversation with my mother
has fire in its heart.