Making Quiltwork

Simon Joseph Ortiz

Like the coat of many colors, the letters, scraps,
all those odds and bits we live by, we have come
to know. Folks here live by the pretty quilts
they make, more than make actually, more than pretty.
They are histories, their lives and their quilts.
Indian people who have been scattered, sundered
into odds and bits, determined to remake whole cloth.
Nothing quits. It changes many times, sometimes
to something we don't want, but we again gather
the pieces, study them, decide, make decisions again,
yes, and fit them to color, necessity, conditions,
taste and choice, and start again. Our lives are quilts,
letters, odds and bits, scraps, but always the thread
loving through them, compassionate knowledge
that what we make is worth it and will outlast
anything that was before and will be worthy
of any people's art, endeavor, and final triumph.

Here, look at my clothes, quilts, coats of many colors!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Source: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/3096.html
Illustration: http://magikquilter.com/2009/02/16/quiet-spirit/
Online text copyright © 2009, Ian Lancashire (the Department of English) and the University of Toronto. Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries. Original text: Ortiz, Simon J. Out There Somewhere. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2002: 106.

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