She Who Knits in the Buddhist Monastery

She Who Knits in the Buddhist Monastery

Her bare toes nudge the barn floor
from her caned rocking chair.
Her fingers knit stripes, cables
of mantle and crust, riffs of watersheds
running down to ruffled-water blue binding.
Ribbed fabric slumps around her knotted calves
like lazy Vermont mountains.
I pass near her. I hear a hawk. A gong.
I respect silence. I did not come for preaching.

Rock and knit. Patience
stitch by stitch, inch by inch,
she binds up guardian green.

I am one apprentice, come to find my call
in hoe and loam, heirloom seed and pollen.
Others move beside me – basket weavers,
windmill makers, moss minders, modelers of fault zones,
river tenders, ocean keepers, and selvage menders.

Her needles slish against each other.
She tilts her head at my glass of cold water,
crosses the needles in her left hand,
and reaches with her right. I offer
my sweated glass, see a lifeline
on her palm.


This poem was previously published in Peacock Journal. Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet whose recent collection How I Learned To Be White received the 2018 Gold Prize for Motivational Poetry in the Human Relations Indie Book Prize.

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