A fabric store is overwhelming
Even to a love-intoxicated boy.
It smells like factory-fresh cloth
And cloying potpourri.
The walls are neatly lined
With gleaming shears and razor-edged scissors,
Like some kindly old grandmother's
Dozens of aisles are jammed tight
With bright, fancifully printed bolts of fabric,
Enough to clothe an army
(If that army doesn't mind bright, fanciful prints).
The fleece was in the back corner,
Near the buttons and zippers.
My eyebrows bounced up at the pricetag,
And I reconsidered this gift.
But love overcomes all objections,
Even those of a bank account on life-support,
So I took a breath and hesitantly chose
Two lengths of soft, expensive cloth.
We laid them out in the living room,
My maternal accomplice and I,
And smoothed out every last ripple.
Then, we bared our blades and began to cut.
Careful slices, an inch and a half apart,
Wound around the fleece-pieces.
Then we lined them up and tied a score of knots
To bind the counterparts together.
There it was, in all its garish glory:
Purple on one side, heart-spangled on the other,
The sort of blanket you'd expect
A clumsy boy to give his girlfriend.
I studied it with a critical eye.
At least the knots were tight.
"You think she'll like it?" I asked.
"I'm sure she will," my accomplice replied.
And, wonder of wonders, she did -- and does.
She's cherished that silly blanket for more than a decade now,
Only a little less time than she's held
My ridiculous, little-boy heart.