The Year After, It Was Boomerangs

The rage that year was balls of twine, balls rolled into bigger balls until it became a
regional attraction and there were signs on the highway. Soda-can tabs circled our necks
on lavalieres of twine. We became adept at square knots and half-hitches, mountaineer’s
coil and oysterman’s stopper knot, we invented knots that could not be untied, knots that
stopped time. Around town we sauntered with our balls of twine. Depending on where
you kept it, it looked like a giant tumor on the hip or another head. Dwayne drew big
black eyes on his and he’d turn to it and ask for advice all the time, and the twine ball
would answer in this high-pitched voice, Dwayne’s mouth twitching with the effort. We
thought this was a riot and we begged him for more. Later in the summer Dwayne’s
twine ball became mean and said things we’d never heard before and hadn’t imagined
and we’d wonder why we put up with it. Did we have so little else in the world? I don’t
need to tell you this was Delaware, but I’ll go to my grave with the name of the town.


Photography © TJ Edson

Photography © TJ Edson


Karen Skolfield’s book Frost in the Low Areas won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press. She received the 2015 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the 2015 Arts & Humanities Award from New England Public Radio, and has received additional fellowships and awards in 2014/2015 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Ucross Foundation, Split This Rock, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Skolfield is an Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts.

TJ Edson is the Art Director of Oddball Magazine and a volunteer at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. He has also had work appear recently in Boston Compass.


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