The Long Flight of Fancy
Ancient Egyptians sharpened branches
and looped strings of cotton to craft stockings
Muslims created silk cushion covers and gloves
in the round using pins
Servants of Queen Elizabeth I knitted
her silk stockings and fine woolens on coarse wires
Curved needles produced layered sweaters
that kept fisherman warm in harsh weather
in Ireland and Scotland
As they rode, Chinese caravan men
grabbed handfuls of hair from camels
to roll, twist and knit with sticks into foot warmers
American women followed Eleanor Roosevelt to war
armed with steel-stilettoed needles, gloves
and balaclavas for the home front
Today we knit with wings that carry us
high above earthly stress, grief or loneliness
Up here we fly free as the wearable art we create
We pull in the thick green fur of mountain trees
The sequin blue shimmer of lakes
White fleece like fog settling into them
Rayon sunsets of pink, purple and red
Bamboo ribbons of rolling hills
that offset the synthetic sheen of cities
Silk slippery as the seaweed of mermaids' hair
Each stitch a tick tenacious as ocean waves
And then, because we already own
at least fifteen such fashions
We wrap a loved one or perhaps a shopping stranger
in the warm saltwater constancy of our craft
This poem was first published at The Centrifugal Eye.
Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. Her thirteenth chapbook, Tripping with the Top Down, was recently released from FootHills Publishing. Earlier collections have won the Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, the Poetry Forum Press Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest, the Aurorean Chapbook Choice Award and Best Individual Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh.
12/12/2017 04:43:53 pm
Wonderful poem esp for us knitters, such a wonderful tribute to the history of a wonderful artform.
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