Scarlet Coat

a worn red coat sits in the corner

of a small, hole-in-the-wall little mom&pop,

which sells wares, chairs, rings, and teddy bears,

and the occasional worn red coat.

A kind of person would smirk and say,

the ‘red’ is more of a ‘scarlet’, isn’t it?

And the vivid sanguine of it would clash and

cover. Blind and smother.

Appear gaudy, flamboyant, something-or-other.

So it sits, the aging fabric, upon an aging chair.

Boxes sit upon it,

and its edges trail the ground here and there.

The buttons have lost their luster,

their black shine long smothered

by dust, and fingerprints, And time, which

passes almost leisurely

almost mockingly, painfully slow.

Until the door opens, and the small copper bell


and in walks a kind of person

whose interest lies beyond what the eyes

can see,

And he spots a sleeve, a scarlet sleeve,

that trails the ground, covered in dust.

He walks past the lines of glamour and gold,

the inviting names and packaging,

the promises of quality and satisfaction.

He pushes away the boxes and picks

up the coat,

and through the layers of dirt and time

He sees stories and love and a life.

feels the guarantee of warmth in its fabric,

and despite its well worn demeanor,

he knows it will wear well.

he carries it to the front of this little mom&pop,

puts down some money, maybe a bit more,

smiles, nods, and walks out the door.

The dirt is brushed off, the stains washed clean,

and buttons, though rough with age, emit a glowing shine.

On a cloudy, cold day, in a park by the lake,

the coat envelops a young woman, protecting her from the chill,

and next to her stands her husband,

who admires his wife; whose smile brightened

and her eyes twinkled in delight

when she looked upon the coat

she received that night.

And anyone who saw her that gloomy, rainy day,

could only smile at the splash of colour,

A vividness that cut through the gloom,

whether scarlet and gaudy, or red and bright.

and despite the wear and the dust,

and people unkind, and being hidden from sight,

the coat warms the shoulders of trust

and lives in the light.

Nesha Usmani

July 8, 2013

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