Little Knitted Sister
The Knit-Wits were a family.
Green father, blue mother,
pink and yellow children.
The youngest child was good.
She did what she was told.
Got thrown across the playroom
and bounced right back.
The stuffed parents were
nonchalant. They’d go to the
seashore with Little Sister
locked in the toy cupboard.
Once the dog got her and left her
very worn down.
She spent the rest of the week
lying in the yard.
The yellow brother was okay.
He squashed her almost
inside out but then let her
wear his cowboy vest.
Nowadays plastic fashion
models don’t have families.
The knitted sister was lucky
to grow up back then.
Not a mother who drove us to things,
didn’t like driving–or other Moms–
but in the backyard she neglected
her clothesline to play with us.
Joe was steady when she married him,
seven kids later he is still solid.
Her dreams were artistic,
not caught up in soap operas.
She was creating a new breed
with crayons, storybooks and blind faith.
We tried hard to satisfy;
her rovers, fakers and whiners,
scholars and volunteers.
On Sundays we went to Mass
and then for candy.
She kept her eye on the kitchen clock,
telling us the time
or teaching us to tell it.
Smell the pines she’d insist
when we were bundled on a walk.
It pierces me now
like no other advice.
Tracking hoofprints in the snow with the dog.
Later on, a detached leg in the dog’s mouth.
Into the dumpster it gets hurled,
the dog circling for final traces.
We’re all looking for crowns for our efforts,
showing them off like a happy mutt.
When images of folly are rebroadcast,
some can clear them away,
others return to the chase, the meat,
not sure who claims victory.
Ellen Foos is the publisher of Ragged Sky Press and is a production editor at Princeton University Press. Her first collection of poetry, Little Knitted Sister, came out in 2006. A member of U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative, her poems have also appeared in U.S. 1 Worksheets, Kelsey Review, Edison Literary Review and Sensations Magazine. [www.raggedsky.com]