Virginia Tech Massacre

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The unfathomable tragedy that unfolded in Blacksburg, Virgina is on everyone’s hearts, minds, and prayers.¬† Virginia Tech is the academic home of one of America’s best known poets, Nikki Giovanni, who is a professor of English.¬† Her poetry became special for me during my days in college because it is so raw and¬†visceral.¬†¬† She was able to wrap me up in the caress of her words. Some of her poems also convey warmth, tenderness, and caring.¬†¬†

Quilts
by Nikki Giovanni
(for Sally Sellers)       

Like a fading piece of cloth 
I am a failure       

No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter 
My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able 
To hold the hot and cold       

I wish for those first days 
When just woven I could keep water 
From seeping through 
Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave 
Dazzled the sunlight with my 
Reflection       

I grow old though pleased with my memories 
The tasks I can no longer complete 
Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past       

I offer no apology only 
this plea:        

When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end 
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt 
That I might keep some child warm       

And some old person with no one else to talk to 
Will hear my whispers       

And cuddle 
near