Completing the first week of Native Poem-A-Day, I thought I would spend the same amount of time (a lot) finding a poem that really spoke to me, or looking at all these Native poets I’ve always wanted to spend more time with.

But this one – Star Quilt by Roberta J. Hill – jumped out at me. Maybe because I’ve been spending days and days sewing face masks and have come to philosophizing about sewing lately?

This poem, however, has that thing about it I love – which is that I am now inspired to write after reading this just once. Her words just offer something quite friendly and accessible up while at the same time being complex and making me think.

Star Quilt

By Roberta J. Hill

These are notes to lightning in my bedroom.

A star forged from linen thread and patches.

Purple, yellow, red like diamond suckers, children


of the star gleam on sweaty nights. The quilt unfolds

against sheets, moving, warm clouds of Chinook.

It covers my cuts, my red birch clusters under pine.


Under it your mouth begins a legend,

and wide as the plain, I hope Wisconsin marshes

promise your caress. The candle locks


us in forest smells, your cheek tattered

by shadow. Sweetened by wings, my mothlike heart

flies nightly among geraniums.


We know of land that looks lonely,

but isn’t, of beef with hides of velveteen,

of sorrow, an eddy in blood.


Star quilt, sewn from dawn light by fingers

of flint, take away those touches

meant for noisier skins,


annoint us with grass and twilight air,

so we may embrace, two bitter roots

pushing back into the dust.