*When reading poetry on a mobile device, we recommend orienting your screen horizontally.
Famous Blue Duffel Coat by siegfried baber
Famous Blue Duffel Coat
When I was young and unemployed and feeling sinister
I'd drink coffee from a styrofoam cup
on the steps of St John the Evangelist before afternoon Mass,
and if it rained I'd wear my famous blue duffel coat.
The waitress from the cafe on the corner of Queens' Square
told me she had one exactly like it, only red
and with a button missing. She worked on Tuesdays, Thursdays
and Saturdays, always smiled, always pressed the change
into the palm of my hand like a blessing
and always sat in the third row from the back
and lit a candle for her baby brother. Something was wrong
with the blood in his bones. After he died, I never saw her again.
These days I make a donation to the church fund,
cross myself once, maybe twice, and slip back outside
into the sunshine. Now I drink milkshakes in the park near the river,
work in a laundrette on the smart side of town.
Today, if it rains, I'll let it soak me right down to my skin.
Siegfried Baber was born in Barnstaple, Devon, England in 1989 and his poetry has been featured in a variety of publications including Under The Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog Magazine; online with The Compass Magazine, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Poetry Spotlight, Poems In Which; and as part of the Bath Literature Festival.
Siegfried's debut pamphlet When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid is published by Telltale Press, with its title poem nominated for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.
Get to know Siegfried by checking out our exclusive interview with him on the Orson's Publishing blog.