Saturday, September 6, 2008

Paul's things

For me it is important to have his things around. I haven't hidden away his picture, and I don't hesitate to talk about him either. I want to keep remembering him, and I want others to know about how important he was in my life. I wrote this next poem while at a workshop at Esalen with Richard Jones. It's been published in "Mamazine," an online magazine, and in The Great American Poetry Show, Volume 1, the anthology I coedited.

Black Bomber

Swaddled in this
black bomber jacket all weekend,
I am safe from the Big Sur chill.
It’s too large for me.
And that’s okay. It was Paul’s.
I bought it for him
years ago at American et Cie on La Brea
before he went crazy
and decided to leave us
way before his time.
I like how it snuggles me,
like he’s in there too giving me a hug.
It’s the only piece
of his clothing I have left.
I’ve given away the rest:
his favorite plaid shirts
that smelled of sweat and smoke,
the torn jeans he salvaged
from second-hand stores,
his worn brown Doc Martin oxfords
that took him miles on his manic escapades,
and the tan suede jacket
he had me repair over and over
because he couldn’t let it go.
Like this jacket –
I’ll never let it go.
It has stains I can’t remove
and threads unraveling,
My son is gone.
But, this jacket –
try and take it from me.
Just try.

No comments: