Anita Milva Milićević
Got a short-sleeved cardigan for free. It had too many holes in it. They couldn’t sell it in the state it was in. So it became mine. Once home I knew what to do and did it right away. I sewed up moth holes first. Then tried to pick at, but ended up shaving sensitively at every single bit of built up lint that gave it that over worn look under the arms, near the hips. With my nose brushing at fluff, I scraped till I was sore. Then I wore it but a button fell off. I went hunting for a new one in my haberdashery horde. Matched the cotton. Checked the others. Threaded the eye. Doubled the line. Knotted the end. I sewed on, sewed tight till it was sturdier than when I got it. I wore it once again, and then twice more until fresh pilling materialised and I saw that I can see right through it if I hold it up to the light. I couldn’t find the razor so went to the shops and forgot the milk and went back again. I was at it again all afternoon, sorting its furry malaise in between loads of washing and phone calls. As the days grew colder, I wanted to wear it more and more, despite short sleeves and ice-air. Soon it’s fibres ran finer and the pills became part of its core. Became the things that were holding it together. Then I started counting them, sometimes naming them after an event we attended, loving how each lived-in-aberration linked to another. Someday soon I’m going to start sewing in mismatched parts of other items into it. Using any old sewing style. A hem stitch. A blanket stitch. Some cross stitch with leftover cottons, something from a peacock tapestry I never finished, a solitary earring I found in a drawer.
Anita Milva Milićević is a Melbourne writer of Croatian heritage. She works in community services and writes creative non-fiction, prose poetry and short fiction. She can be found lost in long walks, photography and bookshops. As an emerging writer, she has a piece published online at ABC Radio National. She is working on a collection of prose poems.