Prayer for Old and New Coats

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I have to sew my memories

inside the lining of my coat

to keep them close but not inside,

 

something to take on and off

when cold grief needs warm reflection

or remembrances flash painfully bright,

 

when chemo and radiation

makes it difficult to feel my teeth,

tie my shoes, retrieve the hem of a future

 

through the barbed-wire fence of past life,

the cancer, the bad brother that shoves me

through, leaving me bloodied and betrayed

 

but safer in the ways of nothingness,

the death of my bawling infant self

that I just begin to fathom.

 

I lack the humility to pray for less,

just close my eyes and find kindness

for the coats I sew for others in the dark.

 

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