The Coat

Poetry by Barbara Daniels


You said, “If a child is missing, 
check the pool first.” You said,
“I shouldn’t be watching this.” 

You kept looking toward your 
father. I was your father taking off 
an expensive coat. Or was I 

you, watching? Which of us 
was the folded coat closed 
in the trunk, which the slammed 

closing? Which the thin woman 
who keeps on walking? There’s 
always a bird in the room, 

kestrel silent on fire tongs, 
starling nattering at the blinds. 
Or the idea of bird: being watchful.


Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Lake Effect, Cleaver, Faultline, Small Orange, Meridian, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Photo by Praveen kumar Mathivanan on Unsplash

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