If you follow my blog Sometimes You Get So Confused, in which I dish out advice, chronicle odd  or interesting things in my everyday life, or display cryptic little pieces of art for you to puzzle over, you might remember the post I did describing a walk around my neighborhood a few weeks ago. In it, I found this sad mitten in the high school parking lot.

CHS forgotten mitten 5-19-16 small

I brought it home and I washed it. Turns out it was just the remains of a mitten – life has been awfully rough on it. Originally it had been a double-surfaced little handwarmer, with the deer pattern in opposing color patterns on two different layers.

This mitten touched my feelings for some reason – kind of dumb, when it’s just a scrap of wool. But sometimes you feel you have to make a little change in this world – bigger things are not always within your ability to do anything about, so you push on the scales to rebalance things in this manner instead. Something like what I described here. Made me feel better, anyway, in a strange kind of way.

So, here is the poem.


No one retraced steps in search of
one blue and white mitten
with a reindeer pattern
on the back of the hand. No one.
No one imagined the mitten
caught under the snowbank
where it lay in a silence that grew more dense
with each new snowfall. No one.
No one noticed the mitten
crammed up against the curb
matted and torn
half-buried in a pile of last year’s pine needles
stranded by the snow melt runoff
Until I did.
I took it home
Washed it dried it.
Put it in the drawer
with the winter socks
to keep it company.
No one
no more.


24 thoughts on “Mitten

  1. I had not forgotten it…nice tribute, and now it looks like it needs framing, or some larger piece of art to take it and hold it. Although perhaps it will feel safer in a drawer…(K)

  2. Thank you. I know, I felt the same way. Probably nothing more exciting than some careless high school student dropping it, like they do so many things (you’d be surprised what I find walking around that school, nothing bad, just silly, most of it). But still, I feel glad I rescued it, dumb as that is.

  3. What a touching poem. It made me think of attitudes towards Good Samaritan behavior actually, walking past homeless people perhaps, about the powerful act of just reaching out. I wonder if I’m going to feel guilty about all the lost gloves I’ve walked past over the years.

  4. Yes, I am aware of it, and I guess I am, I do try to control my feelings but it does seem everyday life is full of little poignancies that get to me, never mind bigger ones…

  5. You know, I feel with this poem, I wrote the part of the story that interested me. The person who dropped it, or the circumstances, don’t really interest me (maybe because I assume it was some high school girl, careless, pulling it out of her pocket along with her phone, not noticing because she was focused on the phone, oops, there is the story, almost). Guess I was wrong with the “doesn’t interest me” statement!

  6. I hope not. I am doing it enough for both of us, when you think of how dumb it is to get upset over a lost glove! Seriously, I try to channel these feelings into actually doing something when I feel them, clean up, help, pick up, give money, whatever, and not get caught in helpless sadness. And also try to pick situations that really need me rather than scattering my efforts. Although picking up the glove and washing it made me feel better and I guess that’s worth something, too…?

  7. It does look chewed up, I thought maybe the snowplow, and I looked around for more pieces, but there were none. A mute little object, isn’t it, the mitten? We project our own feelings on to it.

  8. Very sweet. I’m glad the mitten is clean and dry and found a home. I completely understand. I still talk to my younger daughter’s Ahh Bear that is now living at our house because she’s afraid her dog will eat him, and she would be traumatized forever. It runs in the family. I suddenly remembered that the girls named a broken doll house chair “Pumpernickel,” and he was an important character for a while. I wonder what happened to poor Pumpernickel.

  9. I have a story about a lonely petunia in an onion patch (from a song) that I was desperate to find and help her stop crying, in about 1962. And Pumpernickel, I wish him well, because I know him myself, too, I think!

  10. Thank you. The kids at the school leave behind all kinds of things, and I enjoy doing my archaeological work as I walk along there. Summer is a slow time, I miss the debris!

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