Vox Populi

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David Rivard: Maria’s Yellow Coat

I haven’t had a lot of what
anyone would call
‘sartorial smarts’ in this life.

But outside the café
where Maria once sat 
in her belted yellow long coat
there’s an empty chair—
this wooden folding chair placed
under a sky as bewildered by the thought
of her savage yellow coat
as both me
and the weak, early December sun,
a sun that floats the way
Maria’s knitted newsboy cap did once,
just above the horizon.

On the sidewalk
near this chair 
lie a handful of mauled wing feathers,
plain gray & black feathers
not a single passerby
can step past
without staring. These strollers
seem surprised. Some
of them even stop to roll a quill or two
between thumb & index, 
drifting off, a look of mild dismay
or concern on their faces—
the sound in their ears a heartbeat
their own
but nevertheless not exactly
like theirs, as if for that moment anyway
they held in their soft, dry hands
the living bird,
their heads bent close.

				–for Charlie and Helen Simic

From Some of You Will Know © 2022 David Rivard, published by Arrowsmith Press.

David Rivard is the author of seven poetry books. He's won many honors including the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a  Guggenheim fellowship. He lives on the coast of Maine.

David Rivard (photo credit: Amy Sauber)

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2022 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , .

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