poem index

Star Quilt

Roberta J. Hill
These are notes to lightning in my bedroom.
A star forged from linen thread and patches.
Purple, yellow, red like diamond suckers, children

of the star gleam on sweaty nights. The quilt unfolds 
against sheets, moving, warm clouds of Chinook. 
It covers my cuts, my red birch clusters under pine.

Under it your mouth begins a legend, 
and wide as the plain, I hope Wisconsin marshes 
promise your caress. The candle locks

us in forest smells, your cheek tattered
by shadow. Sweetened by wings, my mothlike heart 
flies nightly among geraniums.

We know of land that looks lonely, 
but isn't, of beef with hides of velveteen, 
of sorrow, an eddy in blood.

Star quilt, sewn from dawn light by fingers 
of flint, take away those touches 
meant for noisier skins,

annoint us with grass and twilight air, 
so we may embrace, two bitter roots 
pushing back into the dust.

From Star Quilt by Roberta J. Hill. Copyright © 1984, 2001 by Robert J. Hill. Used by permission of Holy Cow! Press. All rights reserved.

Roberta J. Hill