The woollen balaclava surrounded the head of a young boy
like a facsmile of the Norman chain mail helmet
on my mother's knitting pattern together with fingerless mitts,
in today's world of sports gear an anachronism.
Bestway Knitwear no. A 2624 4d. guided her as the fifties demanded;
said balaclava was as hot as molten lava,
as itchy as a false beard in a Shakespeare play
the precursor to sundry rashes.
A kind of skirt recessed over the collar
preventing the egress of any invading wind,
the full monty so to speak, the wearing of which
made me a target for merciless teasing at the time
by schoolmates whose own mothers spurned the needles.