Cashmere Coat

The label in
This camel's hair wraparound coat--
Is “100 percent cashmere”
To be “professionally cleaned only.”
Your dress coat
For as long as I can recall
(And today I am 53)
Always looked smart on you.
Dad said he bought it for you
Because you had one in high school.
What once we did
So we do now.

I wore your coat to the city
And to the opera.
I put one of your brooches on the lapel.
On the train,
I took off the coat and wore it like a blanket.
Breathing it in,
I swear I could smell
The clean of your perfume
Combined with so many years in a closet.

Though I am two inches
Taller than you ever were
The jacket is loose on me
Just a bit.

This makes sense to me, Mom.
I could never fill your shoes,
Let alone your dress coat.

Wearing it,
Walking to Radio City
From Grand Central Station,
I remembered how much
You loved the city.

It was a bitter day,
Though bright and blue,
But I was warm
Because of you.

I think it has always been that way.


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