Brightly Knitted Bolivian Ch’ullu

Jack, my father, I am flying to you
on words,
on white-topped condor wings
of thoughts
to the high altiplano
where you are perched.
I need to tell you
the message hidden in the ch’ullu,
the pasamontana, the brightly knitted hat,
I made for your last winter.

I worked in magic tocapu patterns
and Bolivian pictographs.
It was a spell.
Bright green birds with yellow eyes
against a lavender background
meant don’t leave this world.
The waves knitted into the band
above your eyes
were talking about
how happy and well
the lake water would make you.

Oh I can’t remember what-all
I wished to say in my knitted hieroglyphs.
I clicked those needles furiously
watching Incan markings appear.
I wanted your ch’ullu to have powers.
When you pulled it over your ears
I whispered to you.