Knit Cap
by Thomas Park

Big Sleep
Dry light

Through dirty window panes

One long Winter, no
Central heat

My apartment, South Side Saint Louis,
Small already

Reduced in essence to one bed, where
Under the covers I lay

18 hours night
And day

Covered in Winter coat,
Knit cap
To keep the heat in

So cold, Somehow the faucet
Dripped still

The slow percolation of warmth
As it approached
But never turned
To ice

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Out and about in the South Side with the very knit cap, which I’ve had for about 12 years.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was created by trying to remember as exactly as possible the experience of lying in bed for the bigger part of one winter, when I was poor and depressed. I recall wearing a black knit cap most of the time (even in bed) as my apartment had very little heat.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Park has lived in Saint Louis, Missouri, for most of his life, and in the South Side for several years. Before he met his wife, he lived alone and in poverty. Those years have been the grist for much poetry and other art. Thomas is much happier and better off now, but he remembers how things were.

Self-portrait by the author.