Gloria Gleason's Crocheted Pennants

Michael Martone


I hang the new ones, different colors, every day, string them up between the tulip poplar trees in the back yard. The color determines the scrub color of the day. If it is blue, the nurses and the dental hygienists will wear blue scrubs. The phlebotomist will wear blue. Anesthesiologists and X-ray technicians, blue. Even the vets, their scrubs will be blue. And not the dark blue but the powder blue, the robin's egg blue. Whatever blue I choose that day. Down at the Subs-N-You during lunch the PAs and the EMTs slouch at the tables, all blue. The colors? They just come to me. Green. The color green will come to me. I will feel the green. I will head to downtown Winesburg and Blister's Pharmacy and buy a skein or two. I'm not a knitter. I've never learned to knit. In the dusk I go out to the backyard and unravel the pennants from the branches of the trees. In the deep shadows at the borders of the yard I see the silhouettes camouflaged by the midnight blue of their scrubs color. I watch them writhe out of their clothes, emerge out of the dark in the dark, scrubbed scrubs, bleached now, bone white in the bright moonlight.