My Mother’s Ghost Knits a Scarf of Chain

 

My Mother’s Ghost Knits a Scarf of Chain

When I look up rust scabs flutter from your clicking
needles, subsuming even the brightest link in this
moon-drenched room. Communion’s possibility

perished in that wicker basket, and we hold close our
secrets, looped within circles, joined in these most hidden
stitches. Will you ever detach? I recall losing myself,

stepping from darkness into the white afternoon beyond the movie,
finding only strange faces on a street unraveling from
a wound I’d not yet felt. Now you pull apart the gatherings.

Yesterday’s scarf lies incomplete on the invisible shelf,
and tomorrow’s tightens uncomfortably around my throat,
even as I read aloud, proposing family life on a scale

we cannot duplicate, in a house lost long ago in a city
I’ve not yet seen, in a decade before my birth and a pearled
atmosphere of cleansing air into which my body longs to rise

but can’t, tethered in place by love, this terrible, beautiful love.

 

 

My Mother’s Ghost Knits a Scarf of Chain,” was first published in Issue 14 of Panoply in January 202

14 thoughts on “My Mother’s Ghost Knits a Scarf of Chain

  1. Entirety is evocative … for me, especially: “Yesterday’s scarf lies incomplete on the invisible shelf,
    and tomorrow’s tightens uncomfortably around my throat” – along with “tethered in place by love”
    Though you present this as a dream, waking life too can tether one in place amid invisible shelves and tightening tomorrows. Thank you for this perspective arriving this day in my wish-it-were-a-dream life.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Talked to my parents yesterday. They’re in their eighties. Your poem captures a lot the feelings I experience: connection to a shared past and a desire to be free from memories that still hurt. Very poignant poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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