Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How A Lifetime Is Measured (poem) by Leanne Dyck

This poem celebrates knitting and elderly knitters.

How A Lifetime Is Measured

Her pace is slow
She shuffles across the floor
Hand-knit slippers dust the boards with every slide
Snug in her armchair she savours yesteryear 
as she would homemade cherry pie

Sit a spell
witness her transformation
Her aged hands reach for her wands
Two metal sticks to conjure
Yarn dances merrily
 it is under her spell
Shapeshifting to your amazement

She knits away the years
Memories loop together 

She recalls, herself, a soon-to-be mother
 knitting a layette in sunshine yellow
Dreams of her baby dancing merrily 
keeping time with the clicks of the needles

And still further back 
Her betrothed, Johnnie--straight and tall 
marched off to war
as she knit in khaki green 
a prayer for his safety in each stitch
 lover letters tucked into the parcels she sent

And she recalls 
as if it were yesterday
sitting at her grandmother's knee
taking the offered needles
knitting her first stitch

Needles, skeins, stitches--her life is measured in these

Revised:  June 3, 2021, I've been working on this poem for ten years.