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Night Rituals of Three Mothers


small heart

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