Stitches tight, rows close to each other,
she knitted our cardigans during long
winters over cold nights, staying up
with insomnia at the blind lamp light
as if our lives depended on them, as if
she made them from stinging nettles,
and we were her wild swans to rescue
from a spell cast under a vow of silence.
That day her daughters-in-law found fifty
cardigans with instructions to give them away.
Friends walked away hugging the soft knit:
she had spun the wool, twisted the skeins
in her serene cabin, miles from the road,
fingers dry with wool thread keratin.
Lucia Cherciu is a Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess in Poughkeepsie, NY, and she writes both in English and in Romanian. Her newest book of poetry, Edible Flowers, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. Her other books of poetry are Lepădarea de Limbă (The Abandonment of Language), Editura Vinea 2009, and Altoiul Râsului (Grafted Laughter), Editura Brumar 2010. Her poetry appeared in "Connecticut Review," "Connotation Press," "Cortland Review," "Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment," "Memoir," "Off the Coast," "Paterson Literary Review," "The Prose-Poem Project," "Spillway," "Oglinda Literară," "Pro Saeculum," "Salonul Literar," "Timpul," "Hyperion," "Contrapunct," "Astra," and elsewhere. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net.