Poem of the Week: Rituals


By Julie Leibrich

Some years ago my sister-in-law Lilla gave us one of her beautiful quilts for our 20th wedding anniversary. It was the ‘wedding ring pattern’. With every stitch made by hand, it must have been a labour of love.

I have thought a lot about love this year. Maybe the word love should be reserved until a relationship has lasted for a long time and gone through many ups and downs. Maybe love is what happens though commitment.

May be love is commitment itself.




Asleep on Lilla’s quilt of wedding rings,

a pattern bold as gold and strong as silk,

two cats, inside a dream of wings,

open their mouths like kittens lapping milk.


We’ve been ill this winter. Life too hard to alter.

Too tired to talk, too fraught for deaf and mute.

In early times this might have made love falter.

As we get old, it seems to bear new fruit.


In the dark we say goodnight by fingertip,

join hands to form a language without words.

We have to make new rituals lest love should slip.

The cats have long since freed their shadow birds.


We sleep, we dream, and somewhere in between

a world exists where words have never been.


Julie Leibrich



I love this sonnet which seems so fresh and honest but also to reference classic poetry.