sat Indian-style in the middle of the bed,
the soft wool flowing through her hands.
"Indian-style" -- no, that wasn't
the PC thing to call it. What did her kids
call it? Oh yes, "criss-cross, applesauce".
She sat, vaguely wondering how long she
would last till her back hurt too much to
sit this way. As she sat, she caressed the
wool flowing through her fingers to the
needles, knitting, knitting.
She loved the feel
of the wool. Sometimes fatter, sometimes
thinner, it gave her hands a special peace.
It comforted her. As she knit mindlessly,
one row knit, the next row purl, her sorrow
flowed with the wool through the needles,
looping itself into a shape. She didn't
consider what shape it made; she just kept
knitting. As her grief poured in variegated
yellow, pink, orange, purple, and grey through
her hands, love flowed with it.
She knit for the
baby she would never hold again. She knit
for her son, dead before he could come home.
She knit for never being able to hold him
to her breast. She knit for the tiny plastic
box of ashes shut away in a niche next to
his grandpa's. She knit for the memories
-- the ones she cherished and the ones she
would never get to have. She knit. She knit.
Her husband peeked
in at her. He saw the wool moving through
her hands, the shape growing from her needles.
He saw the tears flowing as silently as
the wool, the tears she didn't know she
cried, and left the room without a word,
knowing she needed to knit her pain.
As the wool flowed,
the ball rolled off the bed and into the
corner of the room. She didn't notice; she
just knit. She didn't know when she would
stop. Maybe she would never stop. Maybe
she would knit forever. She didn't need
to think about what she was doing as her
grief ran shapelessly from her heart through
the needles to be formed; she knit. Some
small corner of her mind wondered what she
was making, but as the wool flowed, she
she noticed that her hands were still. The
ball of yarn had run out, and her hands
held a simple scarf several feet long. Simple
in style, yes. Simple at heart, no. Slowly,
she turned it in her hands, reveling in
its woolen softness and marveling at how
it had grown from her needles without her
knowledge. As she hugged the scarf, rubbing
her face in it, winding its length around
her, she realized in one thought that her
back hurt and that her husband lay silently
on the bed, his hand on her thigh. When
had he come in? How long had he waited?
She turned to him. He sat up and took her
in his arms. They held each other as they
sobbed wordlessly over their lost son. As
she cried, she felt the scarf on her face
and knew without thinking how much she would
cherish this imperfect scarf which held
her grief, this scarf whose wool would forever