17 July 2006

Jewel Tones

For twenty-five dollars
my mother can dress your feet.
You send her a check,
and she'll send you jewel tones.

My mother can dress your feet,
she does it by hand, with fingers curled as a reflex.
She'll send you jewel tones.
Around needles, without thought

she does it by hand, with fingers curled as a reflex.
Intricate toes and heels form tubular
around needles, without thought
my mother knits.

Intricate toes and heels form tubular.
One hand over the other,
my mother knits;
she doesn't need to think anymore.

One hand over the other,
knit one, purl two,
she doesn't need to think anymore,
lost in knitter's repetition.

Knit one, purl two,
while the television blares she
is lost in knitter's repetition,
her private concerto.

While the television blares she
works in jewel tones,
her private concerto,
with lips moving in the counting.

She works in jewel tones
and large glasses sliding down her nose
with lips moving in the counting
as a sign of her concentration.

Large glasses sliding down her nose,
inaudibly whispering to herself
is a sign of her concentration.
But she holds back her world.

Inaudibly whispering to herself
for if she let her excitement out
-she holds back her world-
she might disturb our TV show.

If she let her excitement out
in unraveling emotions in the family room
she might disturb our TV show,
or we might disturb her.

In unraveling emotions in the family room
sometimes instead of the sitcom, I watch her
but not to disturb her,
her inner world that non of us enter.

Sometimes instead of the sitcom, I watch her
knitting, her way to escape
into her inner world that none of us enter
where beautiful things are born.

Knitting, her way to escape,
making socks instead of time
where beautiful things are born
in a now empty nest.

Making socks instead of time,
the lines of worlds fade, and all that's left
in a now empty nest
are the lines of corrugated yarn in a spiral design.

The lines of worlds fade, and all that's left
is wrapped around needles, lips, and hearts.
The lines of corrugated yarn in a spiral design
coming together in knots,

wrapped around needles, lips, and hearts.
A pair of jewel-toned socks
coming together in knots.
And she'll send them to you,

a pair of jewel-toned socks.
You send her a check
and she'll send them to you
for twenty-five dollars.

4 comments:

Sam said...

In case anyone is interested, this poem is a pantoum. I did not invent the form, but it is cool. The pantoum repeats the second and fourth lines of the first stanza as the first and third lines of the next stanza, so you get a rolling form, and the last stanza (could be any number of stanzas) uses the third and first lines from the very first stanza, so it is a complete circle. Each line gets used exactly twice. EX:
A
B
C
D

B
E
D
F

E
G
F
H

G
C
H
A

Try writing one, they are fun and addictive, like those soduko (sp?) puzzles everyone is all of a sudden raving about. If you do write one, send it to me, I'd love to read it!

Denise (Kris's Mom) said...

I've never heard of a pantoum, but I'm sure ready to accept the challenge! By the way, there's something about this form that really complements the pattern of knitting... but then, I'm sure that's why you used it!

In any case, this is a really great poem! Lines, lines, repeating lines... all making a world.

I'll send my pantoum along soon :)

Denise said...

Sam, here it is:
If the River Were a Man Tonight

KrisUnderwood said...

Yeah, this is good. Very rhythmic- trancy.

I've often tried my hand at forms, but haven't turned out one that sounded good to me.

I suppose that would be the challenge