It is remarkably small.
Balled up it would fit in my tightened fist, which I couldn’t even dare to do, for the baby Jesus would surely weep and governments would fall if that kind of violence were to be perpetrated against such fabric innocence.
Opened up, it fits onto the palm of my hand. The short sleeves not even long enough to hang over the sides.
It looks warm, it feels warm, but it is just so small. How can it ever be enough to protect a human torso to the extent that fingers stay warm, shoulders feel snug with a dozing head flopped against them, and a pot belly remains unbothered by draft.
It is the cause of comically disproportionate indecision . What to do with such a thing?
Should we throw open the double doors of the wardrobe, to hang it from the rail, sliding it from the left, to the centre, to the right before sliding it back again? The space below it seemingly vertigo inducing, a long way down for such a small thing.
Should we feed it into the cavernous jaws of the dresser drawer, laying it flat on the lined tongue of the huge beast before pushing its jaws shut around it? Opening and closing it twice more to make sure it’s still there, still ok in the dark, before taking it out to place it on the palm of my hand again.
Try once more, this time absurdly folding it to puff out its chest, and sliding it into the corner where it can at least keep an eye out for danger.
It is not easy to leave the room. It is not easy to put it to rest, such a small thing, the striped sweater with an anxious magnetism.