Sunday, 8 October 2017

Tell Me Something

by Andrena Zawinski

(on an anniversary of my mother’s death after dreaming
her saying: “Please, just let me sleep.”)

Tell me something. Tell me about your walk to school,
how you so loved the snow, and about the classroom,
the potbelly stove and its warm––tell me again
how your lead pencil transformed itself into the magic
of letter, word, meaning singing the lines of the page.

Tell me again how each winter you disassembled
those pickle barrels, turned scrappy slats into snowshoes,
winding burlap and baling wire around makeshift mukluks
for a two-mile coal town hike through the Laurel Highlands.

And tell me about the cold, how you swathed your hands
with wool socks your mother crocheted from leftover skeins
of afghan throws, those shawls of festive carnival strands,
gifts of stitch in a geometry of fingers from hook, draw, loop,
the needle twisting thread into blazes of zigzagging color.

Tell me again how when dark descended onto rooftops
and across windows of your company town those frigid nights,
how you slipped the hot water bottle between the quilt
and piles of throws to kill the chill. Tell me about the cold.

Wrap me in your yarns. Just please,
oh please, don’t ever stop talking.

* * * * *

"Tell Me Something" was first published in Bay Area Writing Project Digital Paper #14, Berkeley, CA.

More about Andrena Zawinski at

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