On A Long Coat

In which Carrie revises an original poem…

On a Long Coat

I remember you best as
the ankle-length oilskin coat framing
You might be in a film
from the seventies,
or on the cover of a Larry McMurtry novel.

I’d always be riding a few lengths behind
admiring your silhouette when the sun dips west.
Your good mare’s ears
pricked forward
ever-compassing toward the barn.

All of that light dust
kicked up.
I inhaled, and ate you up.

Like shared atoms and ashes from the ancients.
Your piano song in time with hooves.
Your pomegranate given for the season.
I’m in your shadow again,
I huddle within it.
It warms my thin skin.

I’m finding other coattails
like in that John Hiatt song
With an image of a painted pony,
a Navajo rug across its withers
galloping questionmarks, like cat tails,
across my serious forehead.

I’m constantly wondering
When will I discover my own?

Your trenchcoat would not fit me right
or the evening gown silk of the modernist novel,
neither the business suit of our utilitarian frustration
nor the ones without any
who have yards to spare.

I won’t ever be the tech savvy pirate,
the mongering artist,
absent of the art,
a philosopher’s shunned poet,
guilty as charged,
the poet’s honored philosopher king
with the periodic elements on her hands,

Here: I can perfectly envision myself,
in a bathrobe
the color of forewarned
draped across these two stiff joints
holding up my canopy,
hidden from view.

It was you.
And you.

Or, I have “one hand over my mouth”
on Billy Collins’s couch,
devising a philosophy of myself
(only not at the expense of others).
Am I a resemblance of you?
Are we amongst the few?

Where was I,
where looked my inner eye
when I sought distance from my what,
my how,
my who?

By Carrie Anne Ebner


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