Grace O’Leary of Appalachian air knits a blanket for her wife.
The wife, upon its completion, runs her fingers over it, calluses catching on rough wool. “Your grandmother made this,” she says.
“No, Nana Jane’s been dead for ten years,” Grace reminds. “I made it. You been watching me make it for months.”
Her wife picks it up and presses it to her cheek. “It’s your grandmother’s pattern.”
“Yes. But she’s dead. I made it.”
“Depends, I guess. Maybe the sheep who’s wool you used made it, or maybe it was your great-grandmother, who taught your grandmother how to knit. Maybe it was the clean air that helped your mother heal so she could teach you to knit, or maybe it was me, for marrying you, and being lovely enough to prompt such a gift.”
“Maybe,” Grace smiles. “Or maybe it was me.”
Her wife smiles back. “Or maybe it was you.”
Em J is an assistant editor at Juke Joint Magazine. Their work has appeared in Birdcoat Quarterly, After the Pause, Vagabond City Lit, Rio Grande Review, Every Day Fiction, and various other publications. He lives in rural Kentucky, where they grow okra on their porch.
Photograph by Mihai Pirlitu (@mihaip) | Unsplash Photo Community