Ann Batchelor Hursey

Made by Hand

My thumb loops yarn, inserts
……….the needle’s tip,
pulls yarn through each stitch: right
……….to left, back
to front—worked-in, slipped-off
……….my needle—
I purse my lips and knit
……….this prayer shawl
to warm a friend’s shoulders.
……….My son appears
to say, Knitting makes you
……….look older.
Startled, I think: Is this
……….the first time
he’s seen gray on my temples?
……….Is it the way
I squint beneath the lamp?
……….My needles slide,
knit three, purl three—and then
……….reverse the row
below; a three-beat seed
……….stitch, trinity
of healing thoughts. As fingers
……….move I tell
him how I cast sixty stitches,
……….like my age—
My needles slide, knit three, purl
……….three—three beat
trinity of healing thoughts—
……….Me, thinking when
was the first time I thought
……….my parents old?
Unobserved, I used to watch them
……….sitting, side by side—
their eyes on strangers— and me
……….wondering when
did they put on weight, when
……….did their shoulders
soften? My son speaks again,
……….would I listen
to a Haydn solo, the piece he
……….needs to learn
next week? He leans against
……….my knees, catches
the shawl, now falling off
……….my lap. My
hands graze past his unkempt hair
……….as we listen to
this floating melody, this
……….slow concerto.
It’s then I start my final row,
……….turn all that
length now gathered on the floor—
……….consider skills
of binding-off. Remembering
……….do it loosely.

 

 

“Made by Hand” is reprinted from Fire On Her Tongue: An eBook Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry, Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy, Editors (Two Sylvias Press, 2012).

 

Ann Batchelor Hursey’s work has appeared in the Seattle Review, Crab Creek Review, Poemeleon, Chrysanthemum and Persimmon Tree, among other publications. Besides collaborating with artists, musicians, and community gardens— she has written poems about fair trade and handmade things.  She holds an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Born and raised in Ohio, she’s now lived longer among Firs and Cedars than Sassafras and Buckeyes. She lives in Mountlake Terrace.

 


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/23/d151196626/htdocs/kathleenflenniken/blog/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 405

3 thoughts on “Ann Batchelor Hursey

  1. Ann, this poem is so lovely. I wish I’d had it a couple years ago when I wrote my book “Knit One, Purl a Prayer: A Spirituality of Knitting”. There’s a chapter on knitting poems, and I certainly would have wanted to include this one.

    • Thanks for your comment, Polly. One never knows who is out there reading poetry, let alone, reading one of my poems. I’ll look into reading your book, “Knit One, Purl a Prayer. . .” Kathleen alerted me to your comment today. (Thanks, Kathleen!)

Leave a Reply to Peggy Rosenthal Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *