The Sweater by Purbali Mukherjee



The Sweater


The sleeves hardly reach my wrists.

The wool has faded in most places.

But it is still my favourite sweater.

It is still my favourite memory.


The memory of her wrinkled hands

Shivering, as she held onto the needle.


The memory of her scolding me to stand straight

As she measured my arms, my shoulders, my waist.


The memory of her clapping her hands to the rhythm

As I showed her the new dance I had learnt at school.


Of her tight grasp

As we crossed the street, to buy my lollipop.


Of her drying her hair in the winter sun

As I sat on her lap, eating oranges.


Of her kissing my forehead

Before I would go on a vacation.


Of her teary-eyed smile

When everybody said I look just like her.


The sweater is the memory of her memory.

Because you see,

I don’t even remember when she lost hers.


When did she stop telling me stories?

When did she stop scolding me for not eating enough rice?

When did she stop oiling my hair?


When did she stop making me sweaters?

When did she stop hugging me?

When did she stop recognising me?


The sweater is the goodbye I didn’t get to tell her.


It is the memory of her remembering her grand-daughter.


The sleeves hardly reach my wrists.

The wool has faded in most places.

But it is still my favourite sweater

It is still my favourite memory.



About the poet:

When she is not writing ads for brands, Purbali Mukherjee is either writing for herself, watching documentaries on serial killers, or day-dreaming about being a famous screenwriter some day. Obsesses over Phoebe Waller-Bridge, all things feminism, films, and Jon Stewart's face. You can find her on Instagram @purbalimukherjee