“The Quilt ” by Mary McCall


Wrapped in my grandmother’s purple and white-checkered quilt, I can hear the clicking
of her knitting needles. The fringe fans across my legs, just below my knees; there is the
hole in the right corner where my big toe peeped through. Love is a stockinette stitch, or
a purl, a plait. Each one counted carefully. Ordered, logical. I think of her hands, her
fingers curling into themselves like leaves. These were the fingers dusted with flour as
she kneaded dough for pumpkin pies, whose fingertips ran over the bumps of the dried
pen ink from my grandfather’s letters, whose hands clutched the porcelain palm of her
doll whose fingers did not squeeze back.