kapil 1 the whole

Mother b 1909, daughter b 1943, grand-daughter b 1970

It is featherstitched, gold, sewn in the hand of a woman who doesn’t ordinarily sew, but she has a grand child coming, the baby far away in her daughter’s abdomen. Detroit. She is featherstitching the edges of fabrics which come from her undeclared lover, African fabrics. In 1970 still a novelty. Some say, unchild-like. Her heart is wild as her cigarette smoke and her stitches for this unborn child. It is a mere four years before this mother’s death.

kapil 1 african

The daughter walks the edge which in West Virginia can be above the eroded bank, the creek below spangled with orange and blue pollution, or it can be the edge of the night driving home late, willing willing the lover to be there first. The daughter has chosen to be late, because she wants the windows to be lit when she arrives, but the driveway is empty, the country house dark and alone on its point of land. Between the beginning of winter and hard winter, there is the apricot blush of sedge in the bottom land. The shifting edge shapes itself along the spine of seventeen years without her own child, each year thinking, she is 22 years old, now. She is 23. She is 24, and then it is way too later, the absent grand-child is 38 and they reunite.

kapil 1 peace

The grand-daughter for whom the baby quilt was made with its brilliant  turkey reds and cerulean and greens and in its center the lavender peace symbol against daffodil. The seventeen years, the daughter has the quilt, but the grand-daughter is gone. The daughter repairs the quilt with gingham, blue ground and tiny flowers, cloth she once used to make a shirt with little heart buttons and little buttoned cuffs for the grand-daughter when she started school. After the absence the daughter returns the quilt and her daughter has it in the Seneca for a while, but when the grand-daughter is afraid, she puts the quilt in a black plastic bag along with the Red Riding Hood raincoat and gives the bag to her brother who lives on the other side of the bay. Briefly she is gone once more. The new shifting edge is the days of not knowing, but the grand-daughter comes through a ward and an untenable makeshift center in an old house. The grand-daughter chooses the Mission. The daughter has the quilt. The grandmother is dead.

kapil 1 gingham