Night Rituals of Three Mothers
I sleep tonight under my mother’s blanket
pink and white checkered, and wool.
Last year a brother sent out a photo asking
“Does anyone remember this blanket?
Does anyone want this blanket?”
I was the only one who said “Yes and yes!”
At first glimpse I remembered the pattern
the scent, the wooliness, the motherness.
It may have been a gift or a treasured
purchase from the Utah Woolen Mills
from quarters and dimes saved up.
Something beautiful and warm
not like the newspapers she used to layer
between blankets to protect her five children
from the winters of the Uintah Basin.
Her name was Emeline.
She died when I was fifteen.
It is soon winter and three blanket weather.
I arrange her blanket nearest, just above the sheet
and I climb into bed and smooth
a place for my mother to sit.
She is here and she puts a hand on my head
and sings the words she sang before
words I too have sung:
“Baby’s boat’s a silver moon . . . .”
Then I reach to lift the covers and draw her
into bed with me and we are sisters now
and we whisper like the girls in “Pride and Prejudice”
and the pink and white checkered
wool blanket warms us both.
Then I reach again
way beyond the baby’s boat and the silver moon
back generations and millennia and eons
and I invite our First Mother to join us.
I call her Ema.
She never dies.
She spun the threads that we are
and She wove us well.
We are tighter than wool
and beautiful in design.
She fills the room and is willing to be seen
if we close our eyes.
She is brilliant as stained glass with the sun behind.
Her crown is of stars and music is on Her lips
as our Holy Comforter asks if we are
ready for our lullaby.
Then She pulls the blanket a little closer
and we are three mothers
two beneath and One above
and with a hand on each heart
She sings us to sleep.
By Carol Lynn Pearson