Tuesday Poem

Knitting a Hat for my Small Jizo Statue

Because the hat I knitted for my dead boy taunted me
on the pile of abandoned baby clothes.
Because my fingers ached to hold something, anything.
Because the winter days, though short of sun, were as long as years—
each day a bear holding the hours in its mouth like a limp carcass.
Because I could stare in the mirror and not recognize myself as living.
Because I wanted to be living.
Because I watched the planes cross over Cincinnati every night from my window,
and it didn’t bring him back.
Because I needed somewhere else to go while staying right here.
Because the Japanese do much better with grief and someone gifted me a Jizo statue.
Because death doesn’t care if you’re a republican or democrat, a knitter or MMA fighter.
Because when you feel hurled out of orbit, there’s always a trail of yarn to follow back.

by Rae Hoffman Jager
Contrary Journal
published Summer 2022