Saturday, April 3, 2021

Ode to My Thimble


It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

Ode to My Thimble

Oh, thimble
when I began quilting
I placed you 
on the "wrong" finger, 
but you accepted my
unconventional ways.

Your soft leather
molded comfortably to my finger,
unlike your metal friends,
who were too stand-offish.

You were my protector
from needle pricks
and blood-stained stitches.

You allowed me to feel 
the eye of the needle
and guide it, 
twelve stitches per inch,
through layers of pieced patchwork,
tightly wrapped on the quilting frame.

Oh, thimble
it has been years 
since you have held my hand,
and my calloused fingertips
have now become page-turners.

I hope to see you again someday.
Maybe we could be retirement friends.
Whatever happens, 
I will always remember
the wonderful times 
we spent together.

© Leigh Anne Eck

This is a picture of one of my leather thimbles. I could never use a metal thimble because I couldn't feel the needle, and it was awkward. I also wore it on my index finger instead of my middle one. Nevertheless, I still called myself a quilter for many years.

This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All


  1. Your poem of address shares the duty of that thimble & your gratitude, too. I never thought to have a leather one! I'm loving your poems, Leigh Anne!

    1. Thank you, Linda. I know we share an appreciation for quilts.

  2. Your poem carries me back to the days when my grandmother, an expert seamstress, tried to teach me to use a thimble. I was never very good at it, was much better at making thimble cookies out of left over cookie dough. And I have never heard of a leather thimble. The ode format is perfect!

  3. I love how your thimble is like an old friend and I do hope you reunite in retirement!