Back When I was Ten Year old
She sits knitting and knitting, this sister of mine.
She is only twelve years old, but very smart.
Counting the pixels of a lino frieze on the wall,
Close to her vision behind her on the couch.
Two colours only is what she will use.
Balls of gold, balls of green. Woollen threads
She weaves as she copies this design,
Into a Fair-isle Sunday cardigan for me.
The fair-isle cardigan, like every knitted
Garment, garments of all sorts, passed
Down in a family of nine.
And how my sister knitted, loved knitting!
She knitted garments in Mock-cable stitch;
Bubble-stitch and Chevron,
Herring-bone and Blue-bell rib,
Scallop Stitch and Honeycomb-lace.
And after she retired from retail;
Selling fabric and haberdashery to farmer’s wives,
She fed her passion, her industry,
With her knitting machines, shawl after shawl.
Tiny bonnets, bootees, singlets: she stitched their seams
While watching telly in the evening.
Widowed, children gone she worked on and on.
With her knitting seven days a week
Sharing her skills with others,
Until, almost overnight, she lost
The sight in one eye.
And then her hips played her up.
Her machines (all three) she sold:
Took up embroidery
Stitches with similar names –
Cable-stitch, Herring-stitch and Honeycomb.
But as with knitting and embroidery
Life can zig-zag to a sad change of pattern.
Though I will forever see her as then
Knitting a Fair-isle cardigan for me.
Benita H. Kape © 17.4.2016
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I challenge you to find, either on your shelves or online, a specialized dictionary. This could be, for example, a dictionary of nautical terms, or woodworking terms, or geology terms. Anything, really, so long as it’s not a standard dictionary! Now write a poem that incorporates at least ten words from your specialized source