Fabric

I was born on a sunny day
In the middle of April
Wrapped in a white blanket
to keep my little body warm
I was handed over to my mother’s safekeeping

She remembers that fabric today
the touch of that white cotton
the smoothness of its texture
the gentleness of the tucked-in corner
She clutches on to a memory that feels like
slippery sand in small hands

Hands that she held on to
Hands that she taught to grab
Hands that she kissed
Hands that she tucked carefully
under a blanket on a cold night

She remembers that fabric today
the patchwork quilt lovingly sewed
through the nine months of morning sickness
and back pains
each patch carefully selected
out of her softest linens
lovingly held together
through pin pricks and dropped stitches

Stitches placed with care
Stitches made with love
Stitches made to last forever
long after the abandonment of the quilt in a corner of the attic
in the company of school uniforms,
and pinafores no longer needed.

She remembers that fabric now
of the uniform purchased proudly on the first day of school
Washing it by hand to ensure
no stains stayed behind
Pressing it by hand
to ensure no crease streaked my look
putting the tie on every morning
feeding me breakfast
dropping me off at the bus stand everyday
waving me off to a new world
with her packed lunch and a shiny school bag.

She remembers that fabric now
of a school bag which held
more than it ever should
books and forgotten candy wrappers
pencils broken at the bottom
pencil shavings decorating the sides
A name tag in the corner of a zipper
that was painstakingly filled in with bright colours
and a happy smile
A bag that saw me through middle school
and ripped open in high school
A bag that’s still lying under the bed
proudly holding my storybooks
my journals
my old diaries
my scrapbooks
waiting for me to return
waiting for me to pick them up
waiting for me dig through them
waiting for me to pick my favorites
to carry along to college.

She remembers the fabric now
decorating the wall above my bed
a congratulatory message
a happy graduation
wishing me the best
wishing me a beautiful future

She holds on to the checked shirt in her hands
she wants to smell its fabric
she wants to remember how her baby looked in it
when she bid her goodbye
2 hours ago…

The fabric is stained red and brown
The body is bruised black and blue

she remembers the white blanket
and the fussy baby wrapped in it
she remembers the patchwork quilt
and the difficulty she had in waking me up in the mornings
she remembers the new uniform
and how dirty it got after a fight in school
she remembers the shiny school bag
and how I selected it all by myself

she remembers the graduation poster
and being hugged when she surprised me with it
she remembers the checked shirt
and the last time she saw her baby in it

She remembers that I was alive

She remembers that I smiled
I laughed
I talked
I joked

She remembers that I was alive…

A fabric clutched to her chest
dry eyes staring at the body in the morgue

She remembers that I was alive…

*END*

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