Fiction – Needing to Knit – Sinéad Delaney

“I couldn’t give you a body so I knitted you this.” 

Illustrated by the incredible @Shireki1

This powerful story explores baby-loss and may be potentially upsetting for some readers

Needing to Knit

I knitted another you, a tinier you. I didn’t want to make you so big that I couldn’t conceal you in my handbag. I couldn’t knit your feet. I hope you don’t mind. It seems strange to see you now, staring at me judgmentally through your one button eye. I knitted you baby blue so you could be kind, like I imagined you were. I know you are calming because you’ve shushed me in my dreams. I’ve screamed out and tried to clutch you. Your face was scrunched up tight in disgust. You hated me then but that’s alright. I understand.

The room is scattered with many yous, all half-finished and crumpled on the floor. I wanted my first, and only you to be perfect. I know you wanted a body. I can feel your burning resentment following me from room to room. I couldn’t give you a body so I knitted you this. 

I’m regretting the colour now. It seems cold and reminds me of the sky, that vast space above me that jeers when I look up and try to search for you.  I know you’re there, but the sky has eaten you up. Some time, some place, I will forget to look up and you will float by. You’ll think I don’t care. I care that you care whether I care, if you do. I’m just finding it tiring to search the sky.

Once you crawled on my bed and my chest filled with a sweet ache. You left as soon as I felt you, but I know you were there. If you return, I’ll still be sorry, I won’t act as if all was forgiven. You can hate me, as long as you stay.

I wanted to have you but I couldn’t. I sometimes wonder if my fear made you leave, before you were ready, and the thought makes me ashamed, that my baby couldn’t have a body.

Please accept my offering, Live in the doll. Even if you don’t move, I’ll know if you’re there. I’ll make you a mask and we’ll go to the park and around the shops. I won’t just leave you in a shoebox.

You’ll be my doll. My tiny, knitted you.

Sinéad is 30 and from rural Ireland. She enjoys languages and writing. She also enjoys stargazing when cloud cover allows. After lockdown, she hopes to go to beer gardens in the sun and walk around the shops without fogged up glasses.

Connect with Sinéad on Twitter at: @SineadDelaney6


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