Trying to Teach My Mother to Crochet
by Andrea Potos

I wanted something for her hands—
the dusky blue crochet hook I bought for her
and blue acrylic yarn the color
of the Greek sea near the long-ago
city of her birth.

She didn’t ask for this lesson.
In her steady kindness, she went along
with me, trying to match her fingers
to the flow of looping yarn.
I worried she wouldn’t continue
when her mind told her
she needed another cigarette,

though the cancer had already set in both lungs
and her treatment begun. I never considered
how she might want to live her last months or years
doing what gave her balm, the familiar comfort
to inhale, taste and release a swirling elegance
of smoke. All I knew was my own need
to halt what had already begun, to keep her
present and seamlessly shawled around us.

Her Joy Becomes (Fernwood Press, 2022)


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