Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Simply Because You Asked

Tonight, I am in love with this gem, as found in Billy Collins' 180 More. Please, enjoy.

“The Russian Greatcoat” 
Theodore Deppe
While my children swim off the breakwater,
while my wife sleeps beside me in the sun,
I recall how you once said you knew
a sure way to paradise or hell.
Years ago, you stood on the Covington bridge,
demanded I throw my coat into the Ohio--
my five dollar “Russian greatcoat,”
my “Dostoevsky coat,” with no explanations,
simply because you asked.

From that height, the man-sized coat fell
in slow motion, floated briefly,
one sinking arm bent at the elbow.
At first, I evade the question when my wife asks,
as if just thinking of you were an act of betrayal.
The cigarette I shared with you above the river.
Our entrance into the city, your thin black coat
around both our shoulders. Sometimes I can go
weeks without remembering. 

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

When are you going to post your works?