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