Sweater Logic
by Darrell Petska

They’re ratty, baggy, frayed,
threadbare at the elbows,
pilled and past their prime,

so I rest them each summer:
the tweed, the wools,
the Redford-esque turtleneck and fleece.

But at the chills of spring and fall
and winter’s icy incursions,
I raise an urgent call to arms,

waylaying cold before it strikes,
thus keeping the thermostat’s needle
in the climate-saving range.

My family groan and sigh,
blaming my sweater tastes on old age,
but dowdy doesn’t mean unserviceable—

they’re a boon to gas and electric bills,
and Earth’s environment catches a break
each moment my furnace sits idle.

Far better the family see me
donning a cozy cotton or blend
I’ve had since god knows when,

than learn what lies beneath: dingy, antediluvian
long johns—to think even sweaters and such
can have a role in healing our Earth!

PHOTO: Pendleton sweater made famous by Jeff Bridges as the title character in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Even our clothing choices have environmental impacts. Small choices, small acts add up like layers of clothing. Not everyone has Greta Thunberg’s podium and energy or David Attenborough’s gravitas regarding all things nature, but every individual can do something—maybe much more than previously imagined—to ensure Earth remains a hospitable home for the generations that succeed us.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darrell Petska publishes fiction, poetry and nonfiction. View his work in Buddhist Poetry Review, Nixes Mate Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, 3rd Wednesday, and elsewhere. Darrell has tallied more than 30 years as an editor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, 41 years as father (nine years a grandfather), and longer still as husband. Visit him at conservancies.wordpress.com.