Song of Myself
by Georgina Key
I am the clumps of wooly matter
scattered on the wooden floor.
Tangled mass of color,
Scented slightly of
warm, damp beast:
Madder, clutch, logwood, cochineal.
I am the once separate hues
Randomly gathered and caressed by greedy fingers
scratchy coarseness made soft.
Lovingly coerced into some semblance of order.
Am I the perfect shade of green?
The just-right saturation of Jaquard #16?
No, I am a wad of goldenrod
Tossed onto carders
Layered with a wisp of indigo,
teeth scraping each strand,
raking them into a color not yet named.
I am not the finely combed rolag,
Neatly arranged by color saturation,
Labeled carefully by dye lot.
Spun in order.
I am a knotted web of color and texture
Held together with intuitive intent
Rather than conscious design.
I am not the smooth even thread
Coerced into submission
As it runs through the flyer.
I am the spiral of color that twists unexpectedly.
The nubs—beautiful accidents,
Blobs and bumps that defy the spinner's craft.
Flaws that I cling to dearly
As my own.
Now the bobbin is full, fat,
So tight it refuses another turn,
Strains to be let loose.
I am not the tidy transition from bobbin to swift,
Winding thread, rhythmic clicks.
I am the knot that infuriates--
That may or may not be untangled,
That compels innovation.
I am not the smooth, even skein
Chosen for that fine sweater
you will knit your favorite niece.
I am the skein with nodules of persimmon,
bulky threads of azure,
Contradictory twists of chamomile green and hollyhock.
I am the skein used to knit that blanket
That perhaps only you will love.
Needles and fingers
caress each stitch,
Individual loops multiply
Forming one cohesive whole.