Jane Weir

I take a step back so as not to be seen
and glimpse through a half open door
an old fisher woman knitting.
In her lap unravelled skeins
that look like carrageen
washed up. Strands flounder
between her fingers, hitch a ride
on the backs of her freckled
hands that waft like flat fish through red.
I watch as her eyes scour for weak spots,
or a break in the cable
and you can just tell by the way
she handles shape that she’s not using
the standard wool weight
and that the four imperfect buttons;
tiny pearlised chippings she’s chipped
from inside a South Sea Island shell,
will go perfect down the front when she’s done,
and the flight of needles whittled,
stiff by the stove, so I’m told
were made from a redundant baby crib,
though it’s said if you look closely
you can see they’re more like the ribs
of a whale than spare knitting needles.
Some folk do say they’re remnants of Moby.

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