Winter Coat


Adriana – Oil on Panel | Artist Jeremiah J. White

Winter Coat 

My mother’s winter coat
falls on its own
in the back of a closet
on a warm day in June
in a country
she never knew;
never pulled out,
to shield her against a
harsh and howling
desert gust.
For she was,
born, raised and died
A Milwaukee girl,
her winters, longer and colder.
This big black coat
a loyal bodyguard,
going with her everywhere.

Snowflakes piled up
on the shoulders
refusing to melt 
on the spot.
As she took long proud strolling steps
along Lake Michigan’s banks,.
The coat was part of her,
and she wore it so well.

I packed this heavy coat
in my suitcase,
carried it to Jordan one Ramadan, 
a year after she passed away,
thanked it nightly 
for its warmth,
as I walked home 
late from prayers.

Once, it belonged to my mother,
then, it was passed along to me.
Now it belongs to anyone
who needs a coat
in my adopted family

In our dreams we think
we are the owners,
but all is rented here,
even our very lives
are contracts
signed before our birth.
All is finite and ending,

few renewals binding.
People, faces, coats, all places,
they are but rented chairs
for a party,
and when our party is over
they are rented elsewhere.

My mother’s heavy coat
has nothing to do on a June day,
so it falls to the floor of the closet
out of space and time.
Waiting for the season,
and the renter’s need to find it,
live inside it for awhile,
give it form and of course purpose,
walk it out into the cold night air
and breathe…
simple continuity sublime.

Karima Hoisan
July 10, 2001
Karak Jordan

This entry was posted in Poems, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Winter Coat

  1. ceoln says:

    “simple continuity sublime”, yes so very much! As you know I’ve always loved this one. Things holding up and holding people together through time (even though we’re just renters here) is such a powerful thought. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ceoln, Yes you always loved it when I read it in my Readings..It is one of my favorites too from those days..almost 20 years old. As I said to Katy, this moment, seeing my mother’s coat in a heap on the floor, changed my feelings from sadness, to the realization that we all our renters here::) It was her coat at one time..but it is no longer…


  2. Katy Claire says:

    Karima, this is a breathtaking poetic tribute to your mother. Absolutely beautifully written. “all is rented here”…. what an incredible sentiment ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Katy for leaving this comment. Yes, it is a tribute to my mother, but also to the continuity of Life..It was an awakening to the simpler reality, that in the end, nothing is really “ours.” Thank you so much for seeing its essence:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Winter Coat —Karima Hoisan – Grumpy's Gifts (poetry corner)

  4. Jeanne says:

    Beautiful! If we could fathom little, how rich our world could be. Shared here

    If you would like me to add a bio to the piece, let me know or point me in the right direction on your blog that i could add to your piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Joey says:

    “All is rented here”

    If I didn’t already have a writing motto I could choose this. I love the imagery in this piece!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joey, thank you so much for your comment..this was written as you see 19 years ago, in the heat of the summer in Jordan, but I could still (and can) see my mother high stepping through the snow drifts,gliding down the sidewalks along the Michigan shore.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hoyt says:

    Ohhhh Karima!!
    One of my all time favorites of yours. This coat, like your poetry, is warm, is there for anyone who needs it, and is only rented here. Revisiting this has truly moved me today as it did the first time I read it. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww Hoyt thank you for visiting this morning..I know this is one of your favorites alongside the vulture poem and Noor:):)You have been the best support of my writing, videos, 3D building of well everything. Big Hugs to you and a very appreciative thank-you for your comment once again:)


  7. So true everything we have is borrowed for our journey on Earth we believe we own it but in reality as quick as we gain as quick we can lose. Your Mother’s coat is keeping the love going and warmth to those who need it in the cold days. Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, this is how it is..At first I was upset to find it on the floor. then I realized, come winter, it would be keeping someone warm..It was a big realization at the time for me.. and put it all into perspective../Thank you Nanette for enjoying and commenting on this one.


  9. Every time you come out with a poem like this, I have that phrase in mind.
    I have forgotten who wrote it first, but its true:
    “You are painting with words”
    Every single line gives me a picture or a whole scene I can walk through.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Aww thank you Nat…i just discovered this comment almost a year later HUGS


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