Her face flushed
when he gave it to her
unexpectedly on
Christmas night.
He’d picked darker colours, brown and black
trimmed with a
cream crochet thread.
He said it suited her.
She said it felt tight.
Hemmed in her shoulders
strait-jacketed her arms
chest bursting when
fastened. Weeks of
wearing helped her grow
into it. Moulded to her
shape she felt every
knitted row—cable after
cable of blanket stitch,
garter stitch, back stitch,
stocking stitch, coiling into
patterns of Mondays and
Tuesdays, wash days and
Mass days. On Saturday
nights out she’d leave it
open, her underneath top
cheering on her red lipstick.
Sometimes after chips on
the way home he’d tell her
to button it. She could
do it with her eyes closed.