My Mother’s Coat Easter

My Mother’s Coat Easter

The salmon coat not just
a fish out of water but a stucco of the sun
the son;
I know that my redeemer liveth steepling like
the church roof, our fingers treed
in short gloves white
as sycamores;

salmon only pink in the way that a marigold
is not yellow, a kiss

And, though my mother now heard how
we would stand fleshed
at the end, and where is thy sting
she could not not-believe in that sharp sting, having
felt it–

so that even as the stone rolled away
and her coat leapt high
into the day,
tears steepled–

it was not a morning you could not mourn in

until, child of her flesh,
I took her by our short gloves
to swim the concrete, to roll us through
the clouds and stone, the hyacinthed
jollying her
as if a smooth-keeled boat–

floating till blue too
would pass away, some summer night,
when bared-armed
and fireflied,
something free
would come alive,
warm darknesses
our feet jumping
over waves of purpled grass
as if driven by pure

I write of this
now older than my mother
as if it were only she then
who felt
such sorrow.

A revision of a draft poem posted last year for a prompt by Izy Gruye on Real Toads, that I revised thinking of Easter and the current real toads prompt (from Shay) about a crack, a fissure.   The picture is in fact of a coat of my mother’s. 


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13 Comments on “My Mother’s Coat Easter”

  1. Oh, the colors in this, all the colors of Easter, but in more depth. The salmon, the lipstick (and that coat is the shade of lipstick my mom wore, Revlon Orange Flip!). Your memories of your mom helped me remember my mother all the more. Thanks for visiting, and happy easter. Oh, the steepling and the pointy fingers, yes! We did that, too!! Love, Amy

  2. Jim Says:

    Moms changed as we grew older. Eventually we were/are their caretakers. I love the button display on your mom’s coat. I think she had a sense of humor, or had lost her button sack.

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    There is something gorgeous about a salmon coat to be worn on a day as sombre as Easter Sunday. It speaks of Spring, new beginnings, resurrection.

  4. I love how you turned the clichés on themselves and made something better. “By the short gloves” hahaha

  5. Clothes were one of the few ways women could express themselves in those days. In some ways, that continues. Brilliant use of the coat to describe the passages of life! Really enjoyed this.

  6. Sherry Marr Says:

    Wow, you took me back to Easter mornings in the 50’s and early 60’s, short white gloves, hats, finery….a formality I miss these days of bared bellies and butt cracks. I LOVE your closing with your own sorrow rising…………..I feel that sorrow, too, looking back……..such a beautiful poem to read…………..I would love to have written this.

  7. Laura Bloomsbury Says:

    such an impressive unpredictable poem – touching with unique use of analogies

  8. Bekkie Says:

    This is a stunning poem bringing back memories of church on Easter Sunday with my mother. My father had nothing to do with church so he never came with us but mom made sure we went. On Easter we always had new clothes that a lot of time, she made herself. So the coat just brought me back. Great words!

  9. Amazing images throughout – and I really like the ending – brings the memories up to date with now.

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