We sat at the kitchen table
together, like family,
having toast from the bread
we both can eat.
I picked up her tea cup –
my strong ginger –
to put a place mat
down when I realized
we were going to stay.
What did we talk about
then? Quilting.

The trail of incompletion
running through our lives.
I meant to point out, but
got side-tracked, which
was the topic of conversation,
the unfinished basket
hanging with its raw materials
in another basket near where
we sat.

She attributes it to a fear
of being judged, the terror
of inadequacy.
I myself have always
thought loss.
That what I finish will leave.
Must in fact. Has already done so.
Sleeping beneath the quilt
we’ve stitched may be lovely,
but it is not the same thing
at all, as watching the
scraps of cloth find each other.
We will never again be as engaged
with it as we were
in its creation,
know it as we do
between our fingers
as the needle slips