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a glimpse into my trip {poetry thursday}

liz lamoreux

back from sedona, trying to take it all in as i catch up on work and other things. in writing this poem this morning, i wanted to capture some moments spent with my mother during our trip. it really is just a draft of a poem, i need to peel back a bit more of it, fewer words i think (and i need to start a new knitting project to make sure i have the rhythm that i want in this). but it is a glimpse into some of our time together.

updated to add: this poem is actually about my mother teaching me to knit during our trip to sedona. because so many people have read my words about my grandmother in the past, i know that it would seem that i am talking about her here. the person "talking" in this poem is actually my mother talking about her grandmother (who was my grandmother's mother-in-law; they never really seemed to like one another, to put it mildly, yet they were so alike. and my relationship with my grandmother parallels my mother's relationship with her grandmother in many ways).

********

knit two, purl two

Curled up next to her I watch
patiently.
Her grandmother taught her this rhythm
her hands remember this rhythm
slide through
wrap
catch it
loop moves over
don’t pull too tight
do you see?
I nod
knit two, purl two
knit two, purl two

She hands me the yarn, the needles,
my grandmother said
my signature was to make
at least one mistake.
I hold the needles,
brown yarn through my fingers,
slide through
wrap
I thought that was kind in a way.

We sit in the quiet,
knit two, purl two
knit two, purl two
row after row
I remember when she unraveled
half a blanket,
“you have to get the first row”
she said, “or you ruin it all.”

Slide through
wrap
catch it
loop moves over
don’t pull too tight
breathe
my rhythm.

Not many people liked her,
my grandmother,
but we had something, an understanding.
I think it was because
I was patient with her.

I nod,
knit two, purl two
knit two, purl two
I know.

Days later,
my husband wards off the cold
with the knowledge, the mistakes, the rhythm
of the women who came before me
warmly wrapped around his neck.