Iowa Writes

Grandmother's Flower Garden

Under the table
at four
I sat.
Catching the snow-cloth
fibers of mountain life,
in piece-work times
I'd never know again.
The crisp snipping of shears
in your knowing gnarled hands
at tiny measured corners
making snowfall fabric drifts
on the linoleum
and on me.
The silver glint
of pins,
tiniest nails of construction
dancing down
accidentally sometimes
by your black-laced oxfords.
The quiet cotton threads
lead by a needle
rising and falling
breathing life
into your work.
The pure joy
of life's old cotton scraps
fitting together
into your garden.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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This poem originally appeared in Volume 5, Number 6 of 100 Words, a journal published by The University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Garden."

"Grandmother's Flower Garden" is the name of a favorite quilt pattern made by the women of Appalachia at their quilting bees.

This page was first displayed
on June 24, 2009

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