Make a loop with the end of the yarn,
like this.

After the stroke mamá’s mind twisted
like the fringes of the scarf
we made when I was five.

Her face, a how-to book
left by the fireplace.

Pull the ends. Tighten
the knot around the needle.

A metal hoist lifted
her like a construction beam. Her eyes
were gaping mouths.

Pull off the old stitch. Knit
every row. Keep switching needles.

At the rehab, a lady with skin of roses
and skim milk. Her head,
a circlet of yeses and nos.

Ten rows of blue, then ten of white.

A man, a tired bull with bulging eyes,
repeats almost inaudibly…

Don’t pull so much. The loose end
will come through.

Last night the nurses
tied mamá to her bed. Leather restraints
like the last letters of the alphabet.

They say she wouldn’t let the others sleep.
They say they had no choice.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura