Needing To Knit
I knitted another you, a tinier you, tiny for a variety of reasons. I wanted to make you big enough to hug but not so big that I couldn’t conceal you in my handbag. I couldn’t knit your feet, I hope you don’t mind. It seems strange to see you now, staring at me judgementally through your one button eye. I knitted you baby blue so you could be kind, like I imagined you were. I know you are calming because you’ve shushed me in my dreams. I’ve screamed out and tried to clutch you.
“Ssssh!” you hushed, your face scrunched up tight in disgust. You hated me then but that’s alright. I understand.
The room is scattered with many yous, all half-finished and crumpled on the floor. I wanted my first, and only you to be perfect. I know you wanted a body. I can feel your burning resentment following me from room to room. I couldn’t give you a body so I knitted you this.
I’m regretting the colour now. It seems cold and reminds me of the sky, the vast space above me that jeers when I look up and try to look up and search for you. I know you’re there but the sky has eaten you up. Some time, some place I will forget to look up and you will float by. You’ll think I don’t care. I care that you care whether I care, if you do. I’m just finding it tiring to search the sky.
Once you crawled on my bed and my chest filled with a sweet ache. You left as soon as I felt you, but I know you were there. If you return, I’ll still be sorry, I won’t act as if all was forgiven. You can hate me, as long as you stay.
I wanted to have you but I couldn’t. I sometimes wonder if my fear made you leave, before you were ready, and the thought makes me ashamed, that my baby couldn’t have a body.
Please accept my offering, Live in the doll. Even if you don’t move, I’ll know if you’re there. I’ll take you to the park and round the shops. I won’t just leave you in a shoebox.
You’ll be my doll. My tiny, knitted you.
Sinéad Delaney is 30 and from rural Ireland. She enjoys languages and writing. She also enjoys stargazing when cloud cover allows. After lockdown, she hopes to go to beer gardens in the sun, and walk around the shops without fogged up glasses. “Needing to Knit” first appeared in Lockdown BabyBabble.