Joanna Brooks' "Invocation / Benediction" (2010)

Father, Mother, help me piece together the contradictions of my life:
White cotton, red satin, brown polka dot; torn Sunday dress, Navajo rug, frayed baby blanket.
Make me insistent on every lonely shred, willing to sacrifice no one.
Where there is no pattern, God, give me courage to organize a fearsome beauty.
Where there is unraveling, let me draw broad blanket stitches of sturdy blue yarn.
Mother, Father, give me vision.
Give me strength to work hours past my daughters’ bedtime.
Give me an incandescent all-night garage
with a quorum of thimble-thumbed grandmothers sitting on borrowed folding chairs.
We will gather all the lost scraps and stitch them together:
A quilt big enough to warm all our generations:
all the lost, found, rich, poor, good, bad, in, out, old, new, country, city, dusty, shiny ones;
A quilt big enough to cover all the alfalfa fields in the Great Basin.
Bigger. We are piecing together a quilt with no edges.
God, make me brave enough to love my people.
How wonderful it is to have a people to love.


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