The Patron Saints of Knitting

Prayer to Saint Acrylius


Nancy Keating • Poetry

Oh beloved Saint Acrylius, you who were favored by Woolworth’s and Newberry’s and Lee Ward and so many five-and-dimes of yore, please shine your light on my request to God for forgiveness for my long-ago sin of making and giving all my friends those knitted (but mainly crocheted) vests and headbands and bags and whatever else might be trimmed with fringe or macramé in those dreadful DayGlo back-to-the-earth colors so current back then, so humiliating now, looking through these fading orange Polaroids—although, to be fair, Saint, when one is young and lovely no stratosphere of tackiness in wardrobe can truly succeed in making your radiant health ridiculous. My old friends grin and glow, shoulder to shoulder, so high and happy in their seventies orangey-gold-avocado acrylic granny-square vests, with their muttonchops and Afros and ironed Peggy Lipton curtain of hair. Those nasty vests, so pilled and matted, would outlive us unless one were to be torched by the spark of an errant reefer. So many of us, in our marijuana hazes and our literature seminars, smiled like sunsets back then, Saint. Some are no longer with us, Acrylius. If you see them, apologize for me, and say I knew not what I was doing.


Emily Gilbert