Perhaps you’ve experienced the sudden, unsettling intimacy of putting on somebody else’s jacket and finding a wad of tissue in the pocket. Here’s a fine poem by Debra Nystrom, raised in South Dakota and now teaching in Virginia.
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.
sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.