Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Winter Police

The Winter Police

(Or, on the demise of very warm winter coats)

You remember very warm winter coats.

They had fur or fur-like acrylic lining them

and all around the sleeves and hood.

When you put them on and zipped them up

You peered, owl-like, from them

As if channeling winter animals 

Turned bright to match the snow.

In college you trooped to class in them,

slinging them over your seats

and burrowing quite satisfactorily into them

as if you had decided to hibernate early.

In a pinch you used them as blankets

If you happened to crash

In unplanned or unfamiliar places.

If you broke up with people 

Or they broke up with you,

You derived comfort

From rubbing  against your coats

As if they were friendly and loving pets.

Then, as if from the ether 

angry anti-warmth people

started muttering behind them,

"Where does she think she is, Siberia?"

And "Didn't know polar bears lived in New Jersey."

And people started wearing 

these shiny, stretchy things 

reminiscent of ski slopes and chalets.

The message was clear:

No taking up more space even in winter.

You're only supposed to be outside to ski.

Snow and frost and cold are for kids.

But three inch heeled boots are fine.

The message was clear.

So, a question

For the winter police:

What claims, what inheres

in the shiny new space 

that our warm winter coats vacated?

You may encounter those heeled boots

sooner than you think.


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