by Marjorie Maddox

crochets away
the news
of your day. “Start
with a slip knot,”
she states matter-
of-factly, “then
take your neck
out.

The hook
is your friend
and tightens
what follows,
which is
Foundation Chain, which is
just shy of the length
of God.”

She squints
at what
she cannot see
and continues:
yarn over, tail
down, pinch what hangs
between thumb and middle
finger. “Point this

at the devil,”
she instructs
before bringing the whole
ball of worry to the left
and under.

“Always,”
say her fading eyes,
“pull through and move
just enough to the right
for the chain reaction: side-
meeting-side together.”

She frees her hand
to touch your cheek.
“No promises,” she explains,
but it gets easier,”
then adds
before her next
practiced stitch,
“If you are left-
handed, reverse
everything.”


Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, MARJORIE MADDOX has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist)Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); children’s books; Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. www.marjoriemaddox.com


Photo: “Crocheted baby blanket” by KnitSpirit