Death of a Red Sweater

Creative writing submission from the Rest Less community – submit your entry here.

Death of a Red Sweater


Sorry to disturb you, or if I cause dismay. 

There is something I must tell you that has bothered me for days.

My son likes wearing sweaters, even on a sunny day.

Maybe it’s that his autism, makes him feel that way.

I leave him in his private room, I let him do his thing. 

He likes to sing and draw a lot but sweaters are his thing.

He wears, I wash and mend them. They almost are alive. 

I think he even names them. Today I just washed Clive.

I go into his bedroom, through boyish pong and sweat sock fumes.

I pick up all his laundry, in his teenage funky room.

 One day I came to vacuum, to try to clean his rug.

 What’s all this crazy red stuff? Is it growing or just fluff?

On my hands and needs I grind, to suck up the awful stuff. 

Could it be that it’s magnetic, cause it really won’t come off.

 Is it Clive or is it Danielle? No, I think that Danielle’s blue. 

Do I need some newer glasses or what I’m seeing could be true. 

 Red balls of fluff and really tough, the carpet is soaked through.

 I try and try to suck it up, but the hose it won’t go through.

I’m exhausted and I’m swearing, that sweater has to go.

How can I get just rid of it without letting him know. 

Could I say it was a suicide, would he understand that train of thought, 

Could I say “Here wear another. The one that I just bought”?

 Now I know that he’s autistic, but also very smart.

 How can I explain his sweater loss without breaking his heart.

I am an honest person, I cannot tell a lie.

And so I had to tell the truth,

That his red sweater died.

Followed by a quiet candle lit dinner and a memorial service. I will buy him a new red sweater tomorrow.


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