Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Roberta Hatcher: The Knitting Activist

For Ruth Ella Hendricks


She sits and knits.
Every stitch a tie,
the clicking needles
move her mind 
down the track
from oblivion.
 
Across the anxious plains 
she covers the distance with sweaters,
the past safely blanketed in wool.
 
Over under over under.
Glorious babies arrive, grandchildren to fill the mittens,
to sport Batman and Superman hats.
She sits and knits, life swirling around her.
Anna at the piano regal in a softly cascading wrap.
 
Over under worries fade. 
She stitches together communities.
High school teenagers, even boys, ask—
ask!—to learn. 
She awakens what they have in them, 
cheers them as they display their handiwork
before the world.
 
Over under the world keeps spinning.
In cities she visits yarn shops
popping with color and possibility,
forming a weave of memory,
like the day in Philadelphia she now wears 
on her feet in a pair of Monet-colored socks.
 
Over under the country unraveling,
the old anxiety returning,
she sits and knits pink hats
for a new generation of women marching.
A sister, a daughter, some fortunate friends
take this gift handed down from grandmothers
and try to rebind the frayed threads of the republic,
arms linked over under, over under.
 
With the sisters and daughters and mothers she has clad, 
she knits and knits.
She rises.

---

Copyright 2019 Roberta Hatcher

Roberta Hatcher is the author of French Lessons.
Women’s March on Washington, 2017

2 comments on “Roberta Hatcher: The Knitting Activist

  1. granolaho
    October 2, 2019

    Feelings about knitting ring true to me. I enjoyed this very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth
    October 2, 2019

    What a lovely surprise to reread your poem today, Roberta. It’s rare to inspire someone. I feel honored.

    Liked by 1 person

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