"I make them warm to keep my family from freezing;
I make them beautiful to keep my heart from breaking."
--From the journal of a prairie woman, 1870
"To keep a husband and five children warm,
she quilts them covers thick as drifts against
the door. Through every fleshy square white threads
needle their almost invisible tracks; her hours
count each small suture that holds together
the raw-cut, uncolored edges of her life.
She pieces each one beautiful, and summer bright
to thaw her frozen soul. Under her fingers
the scraps grow to green birds and purple
improbable leaves; deeper than calico, her mid-winter
mind bursts into flowers. She watches them unfold
between the double stars, the wedding rings."
Quoted from Moving Into Light, Poems by Luci Shaw