Academic journal article The Hudson Review

My Father's Sweater

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

My Father's Sweater

Article excerpt

I'd almost forgotten about

the Norwegian sweater

I "borrowed" from my father

when I was in college

and wore so often

that its intricate design

of grayish, creamy checks

inside a navy grid

flecked with a lighter blue

became so much a part of me

that even he began

reluctantly to think of it

as mine. Later, I sewed

patches made from socks

inside the fraying neck.

I never gave it back,

but over several decades-

as the patches came loose,

one of the elbows gave out,

and a cuff unraveled-

began to wear it less.

What a shock to find that sweater

in an old footlocker

at the bottom of his closet

the week after my father died,

its pattern as familiar

as it was unexpected. …

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