I struggle to knit my own sweater when I’m always untangling yours


Emma Zawacki

A physical representation of how I feel lately

I feel a bit like an old sweater.

An old sweater who has spent far too long in a stuffy attic, only to be brought down to the main floor when I can be of use.

I’ve been over-used and over-worn to the point of fraying; I didn’t even realize until it was too late and all of my thread had been unspun and I was nothing but a pile of useless, tangled yarn.

My bones feel as if they’ve been thrown across the back of a chair as someone would do with an old sweater. They ache from the fall and the layers of dust make me claustrophobic in this airy attic interior. 

My fingers shake as I attempt to knit myself back together; my attempts are futile. I’ve never been one for finishing ventures that are good for me—my energy is needed elsewhere in others and I’m more than willing to give it.

I may be a crumpled up ball of useless yarn, the remains of a well-loved sweater, but I’d still let you wear me to provide you with all the comfort in the world; I wouldn’t concern you with trivial matters such as my own problems. 

You wouldn’t even realize I’m falling apart.

I’d rather knit you back together then worry about myself. It’s seemingly easier to transfix on other’s problems then my unavoidable mess. 

My fingers shake as I attempt to knit myself back together; my attempts are futile”

The sleeves of the sweater are too long for my arms; they cover my hands as a protective layer to keep them warm, but I’ve picked at the fraying pieces to the point of extinction—the threads now tickle my hands, reminding me of thoughts I can’t run from in this dusty attic space. 

And the once large sweater that seemed too shallow for my frame is now constricting my breath.

My inhales are breaths of musty, attic air.

My exhales get trapped in the fabric of this sweater until I slowly become trapped in my own environment. 

I’ve begged and pleaded and prayed that you’ll begin to feel better; I need to start working on re-knitting the tangled ball or torn yarn I’ve become the past few weeks, but after teaching you how to knit and holding your hand as you attempt this journey,I’m tired. 

I’m tired and need to focus on knitting my fraying sweater back together instead of yours.