Skelpt leather, pin-cushion-punctured,
I thought it a fish, named it ‘haddock’,
hung it from my neck, played tramcar clippie,
pillowed it beneath Betty, my rubber doll
turned yellow when Grandpa made her smoke,
poked pencils in its holes &
only when I grew, learned it was
the makkin belt, a knitting tippie
granny wrapped round waist to
trap pins in while sitting, knitting
his silk waistcoats,
needles dancing furiously
as she had once, to the beat of his reels
when he played fiddle in a band.
Her anger cast on & off, in purl & plain,
pain ravelled, my mother tangled,
ripped out, frayed,
so when she taught me
all we could knit were knots.
Kay grew up in Glasgow and Edinburgh, lived in London, Spain and Portugal, worked as a photographer and producer. She has appeared in anthologies and magazines, has performed at various events and likes to dance, paint and walk.