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To Coats I've Lost...


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To Coats I?ve Lost, Jobs I?ve Quit, Trains I?ve Missed, and Songs I Don?t Remember How to Play

Left it piled on a bus seat with the zipper stuck halfway.

It was blue and yellow nylon from a charity box

Outgrown five years ago but never thrown away

Until now, that snagged zipper the last straw

More straightjacket than windbreaker

And the lining was worn out, scratchy and coarse.

Shimmied free with groans and swears

And left five years of semi-warmth behind.

Cold-shouldered liberation, but a long walk home in the snow.

Handed Boss-Lady my rented gear and said

?This isn?t going to work,? when I meant to say

?You?re the worst human being I?ve ever met.?

The man who trained me did bad Nicholson impressions

And told me on the first day,

?Most jobs ain?t as bad as this one.

You should probably quit and find one that?s decent.?

It was two days before I took his advice

And I heard that he quit a week after that.

I?ve never really hopped a train

Never traveled by rail, thumb, or ship

Always scared to take the risks

But I drive a car on streets packed with ice and others

And sometimes I?ll see a gap in the guardrail

Where someone else broke though and fell fifty feet

And think ?If only he would have hopped a train instead.?

Sometimes I?ll walk to work because I care about the Earth

But that?s just the lie I tell myself when I can?t afford gas.

I can?t play any musical instruments any more.

Schools tried to teach me violin and recorder

Friends tried to teach me drums and guitar

And I used to know how to sing and play

?Mary Had a Little Lamb? little lamb little lamb

But I can?t remember a single note.

Can?t read sheet music or tablatures

And my singing voice is like the strangled howls

Of a cat in heat falling into a pile of thumbtacks.

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I love it. It's beautiful and delicately funny and very sweet. Great title, too.

Just lovely. I do envy you your facility with words, mine are only starting to seem less awkward (to me) and that's after over a year of wiggling them around the screen.

Many kisses...


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Quiet thoughtfulness comes from EleCivil's keyboard again. He can write humor and angst and anger too, all with good sense.

Someone please reward him with a better job, preferably something where he gets to make money writing.

EleCivil, I like how you combine words in poems and how you do character-driven stories.

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