A scratchy avalanche of woolen
garb was conceived after
she quit – cold turkey – Miller High Life
& Lucky Strikes. She taught
herself to knit with long aluminium
needles & a fiesta of threads –
shetland, merino, cashmere,
angora. In middle & high
school I was deluged with warm
cardigans, variegated mittens, marbled
bedspreads, knobby scarves. For mom,
she labored over an extravagant
mohair coat that flowed to her
calves. I have forgotten much
from childhood, the once-clear
faces blurred; names of towns
& events disappear like favorite
rings thrown in the deep
lake. Yet, I can easily
see her handmade knitted
gear – almost every pattern
& stitch. How the blue
accent stripes on my cabled
V-neck drew the scrutiny
of a prized boy in American
History. His name is gone,
but I recall how tightly
she applied the pearl
buttons & the feel of lamb’s
wool on my forearms
like feathers & wind.