Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Don't Know How to Knit

It wasn't about taking her to
 my favorite yarn shop
to meet the fascinating
 Finnish proprietress. 
It wasn't about having 
a Thai lunch afterward 
across the cobbled street.
It wasn't ever about knitting.

It wasn't about me 
talking her ear off while
 I held her captive.
It wasn't about taking 
pictures of us together, then
 tagging her on Facebook 
so the world would know
I had the honor of spending
 the entire afternoon with her.
I didn't have plans to tire her
 with my latest poetry 
or ask for advice about
writing a book.

Even though the colors and
 textures of shelves
 bursting with yarn send me
 into kinesthetic ecstasy
 and sensorial bliss
I must confess - I don't
know how to knit. 

I wanted to be with her 
 to taste old soul wisdom,
eat satisfying words,
 touch a silky hand, 
and follow her gaze.
I wanted to be with her 
because I can't find any kindred,
unencumbered, uncluttered, 
spiritual direction and validation
to help me explore these new, 
 unfamiliar menstrual pauses.

I wanted to be with her 
because I'm hungry for keen
observations, reminiscent 
memories of childhood, and lively,
  sprightly humor teetering on 
the ledge between proper and 'im'.

I wanted to be with her 
because I don't know where to find
older women who tell catastrophic
 stories that leave me wondering how
they survived the pain, or how God
transformed it into eucatastophe? 

Where are the women who, 
while telling about
the worst part 
of a life altering disaster
don't mind pausing while I ask,
but then what happened?
Who’ll shrug and smile, well,
I'm not sure exactly what
happened after that, but here
I am. 
I want reminded
how the story ends, 
 —  because the middle part
gets knotted and tangled.
And I don’t know how to knit. 

My timing was off. 
Just prior to my invitation she had
purchased her winter’s stash of yarn. 

She knows how to knit. 

Grandpa's Boot Trees and Valise

I smother 
his boots and valise 
with leather butter 
and wipe wood oil 
into the interlocking
 pieces of his boot trees 
trying to make his
  memory live again. 
Putting words down
on paper is the only way
 to reconstitute a hydrated 
version. Let it stand. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crayon Alchemy

Give a child
two sheets of waxed paper
crayons minus their wrappings
a sharpener or potato peeler and
an iron you don't care about. 
Let down the ironing board
to her belly height. 

Give a child time to be 
an alchemist 
and a roll of tape. 
She will turn your window
into a stained glass rose 
worthy of the finest 
cathedral on earth.
You will remember
again how to sit still
and let the colors of life 
pierce through until
you worship.