My Father’s Coat

Why does mother keep a leather coat in the attic? – Selkie legend

At ten, I became meddlesome,
explored my mother’s wardrobe
for dressing-up clothes. Soon bored,
I was drawn to the potential of older rooms
and hauled myself up to the attic,
opening each locked trunk
with a friend’s paperclip trick.

I found a sheepskin coat,
its leather hard and cracked
and smelling of algae.

I shrugged it across my shoulders,
then fell to the floor under its weight.
Hearing the thud, my mother appeared,
a small gold key in her hand.

Published in Three Drops Press, 2016