A Thrift Store Ball of Yarn

A Thrift Store Ball of Yarn
Sarah Bramblett

I. Casting On
Once, I sat on the hallowed shelves of Hobby Lobby.
I listened to young girls beg grandmothers
for the aquamarine with the thread of silver.
Expectant mothers bought in bulk the baby blue.

Workshop days brought in crowds.
I watched knitting needles find their match
fall in love, make something beautiful.
Burnt orange and I earned a clearance badge.

More hands picked me up in December.
The attention made me tangle.
A frequent shopper, with graying roots, frayed ends
used a coupon to bring me home.

II. Working in a St st (k every round), knit 12 rnds
Would I be a winter hat for little Hannah?
A criss-cross scarf for Granny Sue?
An amigurumi frog to comfort teething Sammy?
If stitches were days, my benefactor required
forty-seven rounds to remember me.

I should have known. I’m the scratchy,
utilitarian material made for rags,
not beauty. She printed “Easy Crochet Dishcloth”
from Pinterest. But she spilled coffee
on it and on me; all the counts blurred.

Before the bitterness of being stained,
I tasted the sugary sweetness of aspiration.
My strands were knotted with care
not a thread unaccounted. Still riding potential,
possibility, I was plopped in the minivan.

From soccer practice to the kid’s choir,
I just rolled under the driver’s chair. Forgotten?
Slimy cheerio crumbs decorated my edges.
I picked up some of the dog’s hair.
Fifty-nine stitches in transit.

III. Join, taking care not to twist sts
She discovered me again in a parking lot.
With her mutter, my last benediction,
s h e u n r a v e l e d m e.
Dropped me here, the generic nonprofit.
I’m not even good enough for GoodWill.
Scotch tape on my skin announced
that I’m worth only fifty cents.
From here, I’ll begin again, with the quirkier cast
Of discarded friends—the VCR and the amateur
painting of fruit share my shelf.
Rpt rnd 1
on day 403