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Necessary Things

A poem

Published on:
February 11, 2021
Read time:
1 min.
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I confess to having a few unnecessary things:
collections of rocks, feathers, dragonfly wings,
a deflated basketball, a family of old bottles,
a child's sweater, stored away since…
I can’t quite remember.
The sweater has aged into ivory;
patterned toy soldiers, red and dark blue,
stand guard on front and on back.
Hand-knitted.
Simple stockinette stitch.
Zipper slightly detached at the bottom. 

The boy who once wore it brand new
grew up to be the dad of two sons
who proudly wore that soldier sweater until
each was too big and it was too small
for the men they were becoming.
The sweater now waits. Unworn
but not abandoned.

Someday one of those boys who became
a man may become the father 
of a son or daughter 
who will wear the responsibilities, hopes,
challenges of a new generation.
And maybe they will also wear
the soldier sweater that knits them to
the generations standing guard
behind them. This above all is the
necessary thing.

Charis Crandall
Charis Crandall lives in Wembley, Alberta, Canada with her husband, Dean, and teaches high school English in another community several farms down the road. An outdoor enthusiast, she particularly loves mountains and marshes. She marvels at the gentleness of grace in both the ordinary and hard places of life. Charis writes from time to time at charisc.com and can be found on Twitter @CharisCrandall.

Cover image Patty Brito

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