Robert Hamberger

Knitting Pattern

Why have I saved her handwriting? A lined page; pencil words:
1. Knit 5Main 5Navy 26Main 2Green 4Main 6Grn 5Main
I don’t know what it means, but she knew. Now her ashes
sift where minnows open mouths and water moves above her.
I can’t understand that either. It’s her message.
2. Purl 4Main 9Grn 2Main 2Gr 24Main 10Navy 2Main
I don’t know the code, how to stitch one colour after
the other, add one word to the next, though I persevere,
a pencil over this page the sign of her hand
once moving. I want her to be in the air again, beside me
knitting or talking. I won’t look away this time, her
needles clicking like minutes. 1Main 12Navy 23Main

Robert Hamberger has been shortlisted and highly commended for Forward prizes, appearing in the Forward Book of Poetry 2020. He has been awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship; his poetry has been featured as the Guardian Poem of the Week and in British, American, Irish and Japanese anthologies. He has published six poetry pamphlets and four full-length collections. Blue Wallpaper (published by Waterloo Press) was shortlisted for the 2020 Polari Prize. His prose memoir with poems A Length of Road: finding myself in the footsteps of John Clare will be published by John Murray in summer 2021.