“The Quilting Bee,” Ensign, Feb. 1998, 61
The women of our ward
welcome each new bride
with a quilt. Elbow to elbow
they sit around the frame
imprinting the cloth with stitches.
They bandy news items back and forth
like tennis players across a court—
new babies, illnesses, budgets,
schedules, clothes, and menus—
stretching the fabric of their lives.
Yet they dream and laugh and love.
The pristine coverlet spans their laps
like an unblemished prairie,
a wilderness to be conquered.
The women know it will be years
before the quilt is really finished;
they have witnessed the process before:
the residue of bitter tears;
oil from hands pressed in evening prayer;
milk and dampness from nursing babes;
colors faded from washings and sunlight
conspiring against the fresh, unflawed
coverlet and couple.
The women bleed a little with every quilt,
their hearts pricked by memories.
Still they dream and laugh and love