April 3: Deborah Digges's "The Coat"

Deborah Digges, who took her own life in the spring of 2009, wrote poems of grief throughout her career—some painful and unsparing, but many with a silver lining of comfort and sly celebration. Here is “The Coat,” written for her husband, from her posthumous collection The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart.

The Coat

I wore your clothes when you went out of town,
your white or light blue shirts for my pajamas.
I wear your coats now when I walk our dogs,
then we stop by to see the horses.
This coat, bought at the fair, remember,
so-called Tibetan wool, whose hood drawn tight
around my head, my hair locked up against the cold,
my heart a white flag lost among the snowdrifts.
Except today I saw a face like yours
through those last wrenched months of your long illness,
a man whose face was flying through his being,
jaundiced, hardly here, at once recognizable.
Forgive me I was happy in your coat to see you!

Learn more about The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart by Deborah Digges