A cushion has a cover, stripes made by
hands that held their first grandchild,
with buttons fallen and replaces
that blended into maroon lungis with
silver brooches and silvering hair.

A cushion has a cover, scented with blessings
and incense burnt as an offering to the Buddha,
a recorder of prayers for safety, for luck, for
well lived lives to come.

A cushion has a cover, patterned with
childprints that threw it around for joy and
broke a clock in the middle of a pillow fight,
and black and white fur when
feeble hands stroked canine ears waiting
to be scratched.

A cushion has a cover, soaked in advice from
a mother to a daughter and dismissals
between generations.

A cushion has a cover, stitched from thread
hidden inside a grandmother’s cookie box,
guided kneaded through a needle with a
grandchild’s eye, from an old sewing machine
that creaks when pedaled, passed down from a
great grandmother.

A cushion has a cover, powdered by
a widow’s neck and glitter from a child’s
ballet costume, and brushed by
soft kafkas against braided hair
falling below the shoulders.

A cushion has a cover, splashed with drops of
voices no longer spoken and conversations
past forgotten, on which a baby once laid,
rocked to sleep by her singing grandmother.