I wrote this poem after reconnecting with a friend over Easter vacation.  I have been struggling to write a poem about her for years…it finally flowed.

Coffee Cafe Customers:  The Quilter

My old friend
sits at the table
like a lump of dough.
The discontent
rises like yeast within her.
She eats everything on her plate
but tastes nothing
trying to fulfill
emptiness inside.
Years ago–
has it been fifteen now?
She moved out and left
three children with her ex-husband.
He began indoctrinating them
saying who knows what to turn
their malleable minds against her.
They stopped wanting to visit
Soon cut off all ties.
When their birthdays came
she packed shopping bags full
of new clothes and cards
Drove to his house
Threw the bags over the fence.
He had the children
cut up the clothes
into little pieces
and mailed them back to her.
What kind of man
would do such a thing?
Now her children are in their early thirties.
She hopes every year
that they will escape
from his spell
and reach out to her,
but his poison has done its work.
One daughter is an attorney in Las Vegas.
When the shootings occurred this spring,
she emailed her daughter
asking if she was OK.
Her daughter emailed back:
“Yes, I am OK—wasn’t at the concert.
Thanks for asking. But this is not an invitation
for you to come back into my life.”
So she sits alone in the evenings
and stitches a quilt
made up of little cut pieces
trying to sew up
a broken heart.