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Anne Colwell

BLUE RAINCOAT

I.
 
Frayed cuffs
            oily collar
                        belt hanging loose
            back loop
                        gone
                             
I’m twenty
            again
            behind the wheel
                        the Blue Ford Fairmont.
I open my eyes
             newborn
                        see my mother
disappear
            under the weight
                        of a house
            sinking through the screen door
                        she labors
hunched
            beneath a slate blue
raincoat
            a filthy scrap of sky
 
 

II.
 
Bruises say shoulder
but like blue ink
            on ecru Crane paper
                        they bleed through
            into back, elbow.
 
Two black eyes   
            another bruise
            single parenthesis
                        beside
            her pink-lipsticked mouth.
 
When words disappeared,
            paper softened into cloth.
She wove it, wore it,
            a coat, a blue coat.

To Top

~

SOLITAIRE 1975
Afternoons
            all edge
                        glare
Mornings       
            gauzy
            sleep-slur
                        forgot
Evenings
            porchlight
                        yellow
            cocktails
hours off
 
Afternoons
       Concentration
            Jeopardy
                        sitcoms
                        soaps
 
Four to six
blank stretch
            before
his car in the drive
scotch and water
dinner
         How was your
                           day
Afternoons
for hours
            she’d play

~

~

SWIMMING LESSONS
Pool deck encampments
            chaise lounges
                        mother islands
                        of snacks towels lotion
Children run off
            return
                        
Lesson time:
            mothers perch
                        on edge
            stir chlorine bluegreen water
                        over bare ankles
 
My mother
            cat’s-eye sunglasses
                        skirted suit
                                    robin’s egg
never got in
never learned to swim
            saw that I did
                      
                      
Beneath a skin of morning light
                        beneath the blue surface
my splashing limbs
            my thrashing heart
                        my weightless drop
                                    to liquid silence

.
About the Poet
Anne Agnes Colwell, a poet and fiction writer, is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware.  Her work has appeared in several journals, including:  California Quarterly, Mudlark, Evansville Review, Phoebe, Eclectic Literary Forum, Southern Poetry Review, Stickman Review, Poetry Bay, and Octavo.  An online chapbook of her poems appears in The Alsop Review.  Her first book of poems, Believing Their Shadows, has been a finalist for the University of Wisconsin‚s Brittingham Prize, the Anhinga Prize, New Issues Poetry Prize and the Quarterly Review of Literature.  Her critical book, Inscrutable Houses: Metaphors of the Body in the Poems of Elizabeth Bishop, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 1997.  She received an Established Artist Award in Poetry and an Emerging Artist Award in Fiction from the Delaware State Arts Council.  She lives in Milton, Delaware with her husband James Keegan and son, Thomas.