My Father’s Coat by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

My Father’s Coat

Why does mother keep a leather coat in the attic? – Selkie legend

At ten, I became meddlesome,
explored my mother’s wardrobe
for dressing-up clothes. Soon bored,
I was drawn to the potential of older rooms
and hauled myself up to the attic,
opening each locked trunk
with a friend’s paperclip trick.

I found a sheepskin coat in the last case,
its leather hard and cracked, but smelling of algae.
I shrugged it across my shoulders,
then fell to the floor under its weight.
Hearing the thud, my mother appeared,
a small gold key in her hand.

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough‘s poetic influences include Michael Ondaatje and Gary Soto. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Stand,The Rialto and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She has won prizes in several UK competitions, to include the most recent Cannon Sonnet or Not Competition. She now lives in Norfolk with her husband and three children, but spent many years living and working in places as diverse as Maastricht, Reykjavik, Jakarta, California and Florida.

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