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.
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
Cover image Patty Brito