August Brill CC
Knit One Child
To the woman selling skeins from neat rainbow rows on rustic shelves like scratchy books of acrylic and wool, all smelling faintly yarn-store-musty, with perfect projects on the front and tiny print on the back – I only need one skein, a tiny one, a soft one, maybe pastel pink or lavender or peach or sunny yellow, cloud-soft, maybe the one with a baby lion on it. I need you to pack one soft pink skein and some tiny needles and a tiny pattern (beginner’s level because it’s the first hat I’ve made) into your fancy crafty craft paper bags and tie it with a Minnie Mouse pink polka dot ribbon and a flyer for a knitting class I won’t attend because it’s too late to learn for this hat. What I don’t need is you touching my belly and my stretched-out Van Halen t-shirt with your not-soft, well-meaning hands, measuring me like a yarn ball from the basket you tell me you leave out for your grandchildren that often come to visit and sit and wind yarn for you while your daughter counts down the days to her third or fourth child and fifth ball of variegated baby hat yarn while you drink Earl Grey tea together and eat the warm scones you shove at me in case I need a snack. When you ask again like you didn’t hear me and I point at pink yarn in kitten-sized balls, I need you to not quote Psalm 139:13 at me from the embroidered plaque on your wall that you think is yarn store humor. I only need one skein, a hat-shaped bundle to protect my daughter from people staring at her, give her one last soft reminder of her mother she never saw, something to protect her from the wedding-white satin lining as it closes over her head.
Amy Barnes is the author of two flash collections: AMBROTYPES published by word west and “Mother Figures” by ELJ, Editions. She has words at a range of publications including The Citron Review, JMWW Journal, Flash Frog, No Contact Mag, Leon Review, Complete Sentence, The Bureau Dispatch, Nurture Lit, X-R-A-Y Lit and many others. She’s a Fractured Lit Associate Editor, Gone Lawn co-editor, Ruby Lit assistant editor and reads for NFFD, CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, The MacGuffin, and Narratively.
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