Wise Poets – Lucille Clifton – Poem to My Yellow Coat

Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936 – February 13, 2010)

today i mourn my coat.
my old potato.
my yellow mother.
my horse with buttons.
my rind.
today she split her skin
like a snake,
refusing to excuse my back
for being big
for being old
for reaching toward other
cuffs and sleeves.
she cracked like a whip and
fell apart,
my terrible teacher to the end;
to hell with the arms you want
she hissed,
be glad when you’re cold
for the arms you have