My mom sits, does it
without thinking cast on
while doing other things
slip one, knit two. I watch as
she tears it out. Starts over
cast on, back loop, slip, slip, slip.
I want to ask why, but I can’t.
She seems to prefer starting over
to finishing—the journey to the
destination continue, purl through
back loop. I think, maybe chasing handspun
perfection is the product—the only one
that matters anyway stockinette
stich, reverse, repeat. Couldn’t be
the few hand-knit clothes I had.
By not asking out loud, I’ve become a participant
through back loop, together, skip, continue.
My ears become her hands, hypnotic rhythm,
as I watch the aluminum needles click.
I think about the mind’s tether,
our hands kept busy escaping.
AR Dugan has an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. His poetry can be seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary magazines and reviews, most recently Woven Tale Press. He taught high school English in southeastern Massachusetts for nine years. AR reads poetry for Ploughshares and currently teaches literature and writing at Emerson College and Wheaton College. He lives in Boston. ardugan.com