Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Good Ole' Towel

People working in the fields
Bent backs and callused hands
Puffy bulbs straight from the plants
Strewn about in cotton lands

Then the spinning wheels get ready
Women spin the cotton from the fields
Look and see the basket yonder
With the string this spinning yields

Weavers gearing up their looms
Weaving cloth from the vibrant strings
Purple, yellow, scarlet, blue
Browns, magentas, and forest green

Radiant fabric meets the needle
Pulled together by colorful thread
Some might make it a quilt, a dress
But this cloth will be a towel instead

A plushy towel so soft and clean
To wipe small dirty hands and faces
Children’s fussy turning heads
Then Mama’s, “Stay out of filthy places.”

This towel will dry the babies’ backs
Clean a scrape and dry the tears
This will be Mama’s best friend
When things get spilt throughout the years

But because it grew so stained
It became torn and full of holes
This towel lost its lovely feel
Like two shoes without their soles

So they decided that their favorite towel
With its stains and faded tag
Would no longer be a plushy towel
But instead a handsome rag

So they cut it up and sewed the seams
And they used it just as much
It no longer wiped the babies’ backs
But it still wiped tears and such

Soon the rag grew rough and worn
And because they never got ‘em
They made the rag a diaper,
To fit on Baby’s bottom

So a few more years the rag lived on
Until it came to the brink of trash
But they cut it into strips and sewed
Until it made an apron sash

Then years and years went by like that
As an apron sash at ease
And then it was ripped and used as bandages
To cover scraped-up knees

And on and on the towel went on
That once the weavers weaved
The sewers sewed and then at last
The family, a towel, received

These bandages went from knee scrapes
To little finger scratches
Or burns on Baby’s pinkie toe
When her brother played with matches

And one day decades later on
A Grandma told a story
To all the little young ones
About the towel’s life of glory

That glorious towel that was once a bulb
A string and then at last
A towel so lovely and so unique
Its first days zipping past

It lived a life so long and good
Then became a rag and then a sash
And then four little bandages so worn out
They finally met the trash

The moral of this story
That was told over and again
Was that things can be used a long time
Even with a hole or stain

“Use things until they fall apart,
Don’t just use them once or twice
Because even as a bandage
Our towel was just as nice!”

By: Allix in honor of her Mam-mal as she was raising her first three children in the 60’s

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