Somewhere in the city
I lost the knitting
the sentimental wool
I had unpicked to reknit.
The colour scheme was alarming
but that was what my mother chose
when she was still capable of crochet
so I held my peace and flew her colours.
I had been warned of an imminent loss
the knowledge of loss had thrummed by
so I kept checking I had everything
one hand delving in my shoulderbag.
And more than the knitting is the pillowcase
made by my husband's mother, now deceased,
she had run it up from a summery cotton frock
with two ties at the top to keep the knitting safe.
My hands know the scarf in progress intimately
I was working away at the royal blue stripe
plain and plain and plain and plain again and turn
the yarn between my fingers running like smoke.
As I rose to leave my train at Upwey Station
a thud of portent hit me – something missing -
my soft bundle pierced by two sharp needles.
And my hands, now, disconsolate as ghosts.
Jennifer Compton, This City, Otago University Press, 2011.
I've posted another poem by Jennifer on the Tuesday poem hub as I'm this week's guest editor, so I won't say much here except that this poem really resonates with me. I have lost knitting on public transport but, as in this poem, it was not the knitting itself that was the real loss.
Congratulations to Jennifer Compton on the publication of her new book, Now You Shall Know, Five Islands Press and many thanks for allowing me to publish this poem and 'Like A Butterfly' on the Tuesday Poem blog this week. From this hub, you can waltz from poem to poem - enjoy.