“The jacket is lost” he said to me.
“I have no idea where it could be”.
The jacket I so painstakingly sought?
“All that work to find a jacket?! It’s all gone to rot?!”
It may have been left on the bus or at school.
It may have been stolen. Oh this is too cruel.
It’s gone. All that’s left is his poor mother’s dread.
“I don’t have the funds to replace it”, I said.
To the closet I went to see what was there.
Surely there would be nothing this teen boy would wear.
And then I spied it, the jacket. Navy blue. Warmly lined.
Maine Maritime Academy. Class of 1949.
“How about this?”, I said to my son.
“Yeah, I could wear that”. He said, a bit stunned.
I tried not to say it, I tried through and through.
But I faltered, “Please oh please, don’t lose this one too”.
It’s been a week now since he took my Dad’s coat.
He grabs it with care, zips it up to his throat.
He wears it each day, for each chilly bus ride.
His grandfather’s jacket. The warmth of Paul’s pride.