The AIDS Quilt Project

Photo: Wikipedia Commons, labeled for non-commercial use.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons, labeled for non-commercial use.


The AIDS Quilt Project

Each patch a life,
crafted with love,
clothed in pain,
cloaked in loss.

Tom and Kevin,
Jeff and Diane:
this virus does not
discriminate, like us,

Like those unable
to see the person
stitched in each square,

Acres upon acres
of color, shape, texture,
bound as one
in a common shroud—
in extreme sorrow.

Linking to Toads Flash 55 Plus where Kerry challenges us to write poetry or flash fiction in exactly 55 words and to include the word extreme. I dug in my “Edit or Trash” file and tweaked this one to fit the prompt. If you don’t know about The AIDS Quilt Project, learn more here. Visiting it, in the early days of its creation was, for me, a most sobering experience.


17 thoughts on “The AIDS Quilt Project

  1. Helen Dehner says:

    Your poem is powerful and a must read for all. Years ago when the quilt came to Minneapolis, I was one of the many volunteer readers .. each name I called out brought a profound feeling of hopelessness, I had already lost six friends to AIDS.


  2. Such a powerful poem and project.


  3. hedgewitch says:

    I think too many people forget, or have never really heard, about the extent of this epidemic and how devastating it was–your poem says everything I remember feeling then, and implies all the rest.


  4. M says:

    you know, after Nancy Reagan passed today, I’ve seen commentary flit back and forth about her and RR’s opposition to even saying the word AIDS, and an old story resurfacing about her refusal to help Rock Hudson 9 weeks before his death, because he had the illness. So this quilt, this reminder, is so timely. ~


  5. “a common shroud” What pain that quilt holds. Such a moving piece


  6. othermary says:

    This is an excellent subject, Victoria. Thank you for bringing it up here. And, you’ve laid out your verses with much craft and care, not unlike the blocks of a quilt.


  7. C.C. says:

    I think the visual is stunning…..and to consider your words, that it’s actually acres upon acres and that each patch within those acres represents a life….that is just mind-boggling in terms of the extreme reaches of pain and loss and grief this disease has perpetrated.


  8. ManicDdaily says:

    I can hardly imagine what you saw, though sense a little from living in NYC at that time, and also reading And The Band Plays On–agh. So sad. Really wonderful poem, Victoria. Hope all well. k.


  9. This is such a worthy cause, I do remember mostly the fear, but I lived on the fringes of disaster beleiving it wasn’t about me.


  10. The quilt is a mammoth achievement, signifying the mammoth scale of the problem, and your poem is a poignant expression of our sorrow.


  11. Kerry O'Connor says:

    Such a worthy cause! Thanks for sharing the message on Flash 55.


  12. Sumana Roy says:

    a quilt of Love it is…so deeply touching…


  13. Such a touching image, Val. So much love must have gone into the making of these beautiful quilts.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your poem sends chills through my body and brings so many faces to mind, so many brave faces… I was part of a case management team that worked with individuals affected by HIV and AIDS. This virus casts so much unhappiness and pain into the world, but projects like the quilt do an excellent job at bringing people together, at reminding us just how similar we all are in our hurt… and somewhere in the middle of all that, the quilt does a bit of soul soothing, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This brings such a surge of sadness for the ones who’re lost and for those who cannot see…there’s beautiful metaphor stitched into your poem. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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