Dream of Mom’s red parka gone—
someone stole it right out of the closet
of the burned-down house—what
good could it do anybody else, broken
zipper that always got caught,
she’d jimmy it loose, just part
of putting it on—and she was so tiny,
the arms too short even for me,
too-tiny gloves in the pockets, thumbs
stubby, practically useless to anyone
but her—they deserve it if they shove in
a hand, find the tissue she used and then
left there who knows which cold day,
what she needed it for, or why.
Originally published in Poetry Foundation and American Life in Poetry. The poem is from her book Bad River Road, published in 2009 by Sarabande Books.