top of page


'How to knit a sheep'


Start with the legs. It helps to

grab a hoof before casting on, or

he might kick you off. Hold the yarn

taut enough to test his strength,

loose enough to feel his flank quiver

as he bunches shanks to stretch the

ply, hoping it will fray. Loop and dip,

add sufficient stitches to keep his

interest, praise his beauty while

you unravel him, tug gently or he’ll

slip your noose. Twist and roll, turn

and back again, keep your palm

against his side as you slide the pins

around about, each click a kiss,

each gartered purl a sweet low

riff to make him give it all, slough

that fleece in one soft piece

to flow from fingertips to floor.

Scoop it up and sniff warm oil

rising through his staple, the crop

he gives up now with grace. Keep

your face pressed to his curls,

breathe the heat and wax of him

behind his ears as hands move

faster as you near the end, his chest

bare and cold, your feet hot under

so much weight. Tie the ends off tight

before you let him go, your nose to his

in thanks only eskimos understand.


From Reward for Winter, Valley Press, 2016


bottom of page