Susanna Childress: "Why Every Man Should Knit"




Of all the going-away presents, yours was by far

ne plus ultra. So it embarrasses you; what’s not to praise?

It’s good and true that a man should knit, your feyest

moil be wrapped around me now, so that, despite the war,


temerity, the epigone of leadership, market of fear,

the dying-in-the-arms-of, still births, blown limbs, our crazed

negligence which surely will erode us like the face

of that limestone statuette—goddess or kore—Lady of Auxerre,


I am, for a moment, happy. Brad, it’s a happiness

borne of the unexpected cum generous, like looking

at Marianne Moore in that tri-corn hat she wore because,


she said, her head was lumpy. Is it right my husband gets

off the phone with you and weeps? This, too, a way of giving

thanks: an oblation for knowing you at all, an oblation for its cost.



Susanna Childress is the author of Jagged with Love, selected by Billy Collins for the 2005 Brittingham Poetry Prize. She is also a a recipient of the Life Career Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, an AWP Intro Journals award, the 2003 Foley Poetry Award, and the Roy Crane Excellence in Creative Arts Award. Her work has appeared in Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Notre Dame Review, and numerous other publications.