Friday, August 07, 2015

Farewell to a best friend

Yesterday, I sold a book that I never thought I'd sell. Many, many people had asked to buy it and I either refused or quoted a very high price. Everyone has a number, they say. It has been almost a decade since I made this book, my very first knitted paper book. And it is perfect. I think it is by far my best knitted book in every way. It's not easy to say goodbye but easier knowing that it's going to a good home. A year after I made it, I met my 7th grade English teacher in Wyoming, who said that I should post not only pictures of my books, but the words that I write. He thought I was a very good writer in 7th grade. This particular sestina, written for this book, was about grieving for a friend; we had had a terrible falling out, much more painful than the unraveling of any romantic relationship. She and I both have common names but no one can spell them correctly.
Our names are spelled unexpectedly
A sestina

Remembering is often painful. I sit
too much, feeling my sciatic flare up when I wish
for memories to change over time.
I try to tie
my life together,
try to stitch and weave and knit and sew.

At the table, I keep knitting. When I stand every so
often, I knit. Again, sitting,
I knit. I think about when we lived together
and I don't wish
for that again. Tie
another knot. Think about a different time.

Think about harvesting the garden, hoping for thyme
but finding mint and sage instead. Your mother sewed
a costume for your son. Perhaps I could gather and tie
all the sage together to dry, and smudge this place where I sit.
You thought differently of me. I wished
you knew how I really felt. We ate together.

What you remember of me, I don't want to know. To gather
those thoughts would be a waste of time.
I wish,
I sew,
I sit,
I tie.

I do all that to remember, and forget. Tying
all those knots together,
I weave through our fights. I've been sitting
too long again. I check the time
on the big red clock above. I check myself, so
as not to store too much poison. Remedies, though, are wishful.

I will always wish
for you to understand me fully. Ties
between us were sewn
loosely, it seems. Ripping rows does not upset me anymore. Knitted together,
the paper I've twisted and now twist again around needles, I wait for time
to move faster to separate us so that it doesn't hurt when I sit.

I will never stop sewing, though I may stop wishing
for painless hours when I sit. Maybe then, my ties
to you will blend together with other knots of love. I will be patient. All in time.


  1. i didn't know of the pain in this poem, but oh, it's beautiful. i'm glad about the book--you have the poem and it was perfect and that is all very very good. so is being able to buy groceries.

  2. That is beautiful. Hugs. And there's always an inflatable mattress in the living room for you at my house.


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