The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon

Presentations: Anne Lovett

The Coat in the Goodwill Store

Among dispirited London Fogs
hangs this striped coat of greyó
short wool retro, sassy sleeves,
green and pink, maroon and black:
warm and lively over jeans,
a chic topper to a narrow black skirt.
I picture a coat for Januaries and Februaries,
bringing in narcissus for the coffee table,
valentines enough to fill a bowl.
Searching only for warmth and swagger,
I nestle my hands in its cozy pockets.
A forgotten paper meets curious fingers:
perhaps a flyer for the circus
or a grocery list (for roses and oranges?)
Thin sheets crackle, one yellow, one pink.
So what can I learn of the lively lady,
the woman who chose this sassy coat?
I canít unread the words I see:
they sear my dream like a burnt-out screen.
Lung cancer, typed
on the diagnosis line,
codes and slashes and numbers above.
Some hollow-eyed daughter, maybe,
bagged the coat for Goodwill:
too pretty to trash,
too brave to keep.
I think of my husband
sending his cousinís Burberry to the cleaners
after the funeral
ďto get the dead outĒ
but you canít.
You canít ever get it outó
not enough to be happy in this coat
and maybe someday
meet that daughter on the street.

Copyright ©2008 Barbara Knott ∑ All Rights Reserved
Contact the Webmaster