My father's sister knitted it.
Too long, too loose (until it shrank),
the pattern all her own -
she called it "Viking Fair Isle" -
A small boy's world, as seen by her.
Around the waist, shapes on the prowl:
beneath them, grey and yellow lattice work -
perhaps the sea - became for me,
the gold and silver handle
of a Viking sword.
Then there were flowers in great profusion
I could not fit into my fantasy,
but put them on a cliff top. Later on,
it helped to know that longboats
had been called The Flowers of the Sea.
The West End gallery was small and hot,
the paintings jammed together on its walls.
I did not sense the danger of
that single bar electric fire beneath
The Way the World Will End.
The fantasy unrolled, the boats
still sailed their choppy, woolen sea -
except the burn hole grew, the threads
unravelling. When I was told it was beyond
repair, I saw the way the world might end.
This is my contribution for today to Writers Island's NATIONAL POETRY's Free Writing Month.
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